April 2009: I Designed A Persistent Bar. Today’s It’s Everywhere.

Posted By Debbie on January 1, 2014

In 2009, I was making some suggestions to eBay about what they should do with the “View Item” page. You know this on the page on eBay that shows you an individual item in detail. I realised that I was on to something, so I wrote a blog post to publicly publish my idea.

When people hit eBay’s View Item page, they tend to quickly glance at some details, and then immediately scroll down. They want to see what the seller wrote about this item, which might include pictures, details, and policies. eBay shoppers don’t spend a lot of time at the top of the page, which means they almost immediately scroll away from the top of the page… where the Buy or Bid button is.

I ran my mockup by some eBay staff. It lead to some phone interviews for a job I didn’t want. That’s a whole other story. But I was trying to solve problems eBay had aired at a conference I went to. What did they think of my idea?

eBay’s response at the time? TOO innovative. They told me they wouldn’t do it. OOOoooooooK!

I had mocked it up as a page you could scroll and play with. And my old blog post included a screen shot of my general idea:

ebayidea

The View Info page is there. And on the bottom is a bar that never leaves. No, I didn’t intend for it to end up green. Someone would design it. Yeah it might be a little cluttered. This is just a mockup of an idea.

The funny thing is that you now see this paradigm everywhere.

There are heaps of sites that pin something to the top of bottom. Some don’t pin something to the top or bottom until you have scroll a certain amount. You even see this in mobile.

And the idea is still the same: put the most important actions in front of the user.

I guess this was innovative and scary in early 2009. Now it’s commonplace and something clients ask me for on nearly every project. Since I was seeing it so much in 2013, I just had to post to say HEY I almost invented this 5 years ago. 🙂