eBay's Design Playbook


It's a pleasure to be part of eBay's Global Marketing Organization. As an Art Director at Triad Retail Media, I help eBay with their global marketing efforts by leading a team of talented designers/developers to create world-class marketing emails and web design for desktop and mobile. I was very excited to learn about eBay's Design Playbook which was led by the CEO, John Donahoe, and Chair of the eBay inc. Design Advisory Board, John Maeda.   

John Maeda joined eBay a couple years ago with the intention of spreading design thinking across the company. He’s a super brilliant guy, known globally for being an advocate for design and simplicity. Maeda is a designer, computer scientist, academic, and author… the dude is BIG TIME!


We’re on a journey to bring design thinking to every corner of eBay and PayPal.
— eBay inc.

The Playbook covers design purpose, principles, practice, and people. Spreading design thinking across a huge organization like eBay is no small feat. Especially, a company that was built by engineers where design wasn't the highest-priority. However, when the CEO is passionate about making a design transformation within the company and appoints a guy like John Maeda to lead the charge, anything is possible.



Natures Inspiration

eBay focused on three elements: Water, Flower and Bee. Water for its fluidity and purity. Flower for its complex ecosystem and visual beauty. Bee for its purpose and function. They broke these elements apart in artistic ways to see how they can inspire everything they do.

Artists change how we see the world—and that can have value in the way people do business.
— John Maeda



The Design Playbook also shows us eBay's new creative studios. These spaces are open environments with inspiring art and furnishings. They give creativity freedom to grow and they invite collaboration. These studios make it exciting to get out of bed and come to work every single day.


Playbook Design Jam

When a group of people gain momentum behind a noble cause, anything is possible. There will always be doubters in the beginning. They'll say it's too hard or there's no way "they'll" let us do that. However, once a cause catches fire and begins to spread, even the doubters will become believers and eventually contributors. This inspiring video shows talented folks, at eBay, jamming together, transforming their culture and spreading design thinking. 

When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.
— Ethiopian Proverb