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eBay Denies New Design Is Broken, Blames Users

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the just-test-the-darn-thing dept.

Businesses 362

krick-zero writes "eBay recently rolled out a new page design. Many eBay sellers are reporting issues with missing description text, resulting in lost sales. Buyers are reporting the same intermittent issue, on multiple platforms, with multiple browsers. After complaining to eBay customer service, one user got this response: 'I have reviewed several of your listings using my computer and had several of my coworkers view your listings as well and we are seeing the complete listings. Many times when buyers are not able to see the whole description or just bits and pieces it is due to browser issues they are having. A lot of times if they simply clear out their cache and cookies or change browsers (i.e. change from Internet explorer to Firefox or vice versa) they no longer have this problem.'"

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broken by design (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402523)

broken by design

Fuck you all! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402553)

Macfags and M$ chair monkeys can suck my fucking dick!

FUCK YOU!

Re:Fuck you all! (0, Offtopic)

nilbog (732352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402601)

So when can we meet up? Wait, are you cute?

Re:Fuck you all! (0, Offtopic)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402901)

Cute is in the eye of the beholder. Behold, [blogspot.com] and judge for yourself. You should be warned, he's been hitting on her too. [photobucket.com] Getting between them could be hazardous to your health.

Re:Fuck you all! (0, Offtopic)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403025)

AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGG!!!!!

WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN CAN NEVER BE UNSEEN!

YOU BASTARD!

Filter error: Of course I'm yelling Mr. Filter, did you even READ the post I'm replying to. Jeethuth Chritht!

Re:broken by design (5, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402617)

broken by design

No, people need to adapt to the technology. As technology gets better and smarter, people need to change their way of thinking and become better and smarter themselves in order to use this much more complicated technology. The Chinese had the write philosophy by sculpting the foot [wikipedia.org] to fit the shoe.

Don't argue with customer service. There's a saying in the industry; "Customer service is always right". Don't argue with the people who are paid to help you. Listen to your superiors and clear your cache instead of complaining, because complainers generally tend to get hung-up on and ignored.

Re:broken by design (2, Insightful)

FatherDale (1535743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402783)

Seems to me that if they want to sell me something, they'll adapt to my usage. And if eBay wants to continue to dominate the auction market, they'll make their site readable by buyers and sellers as well as customer service reps.

Re:broken by design (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402839)

And if eBay wants to continue to dominate the auction market...

That appears to be why large companies like eBay don't need to worry too much about quality (in customer service or otherwise). They'll react if and when they think they can increase their bonuses. Unfortunately there's always at least one layer of abstraction between a business practice and a balance sheet. The bean counters usually just react to spread sheet and database triggers (and all their assumptions).

These days it's best to grow your own food and barter with your neighbours. Money is for bankers.

Re:broken by design (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402911)

Seems to me that if they want to sell me something, they'll adapt to my usage. And if eBay wants to continue to dominate the auction market, they'll make their site readable by buyers and sellers as well as customer service reps.

problem is, eBay has critical mass. If you're a seller, you want to sell on the site people are going to buy, and that's eBay. If you're a buyer, you want to visit a site with lots of items for sale, or where there's lots of sellers. Again, eBay. If you sell on a smaller site, you either won't sell the item, have to discount it to get any bids, or hope that single bid will attract others. If you buy, the smaller sites may or may not have the item you want, so either you wait forever for it, or have to settle for whatever you find with little choice.

eBay has been doing a ton of crap the past 10 years, and people swear to never use eBay again. Yet eBay keeps growing. Either the negative press is having no effect, or the sellers who leave reluctantly come back. Face it, look at what changes have happened - increased transaction and listing fees, use of Paypal, feedback changes, etc. But eBay gets away with it because they can - the alternatives may be better for everyone, but unable to attract the critical mass to be sustainable, they fade out. There are few auction sites online that everyone knows about, so if you're looking for something, it's eBay.

I will admit I liked their old design better - it loaded faster for me and was snappier and pages were easier to use. I find the new pages awful and the new site worse. Of course, people are only complaining now because eBay just changed ebay.com - these new page layouts have been present on all the international sites for months or even years now.

What I don't understand is why people go onto eBay and buy stuff you can buy online at Amazon or retail, often for the same price or less.

Re:broken by design (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402701)

an anonymous coward first post that is correct, not about gay man and it was modded troll ? wtf !!!

Always the same story (4, Insightful)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402979)

With eBay it's always the sellers' fault. Power Sellers have dropped by the thousands, including myself, because of eBay policies. Starting 1.5 to 2 years ago they decided it was time to screw sellers to make buyers happy. There are several lawsuits against ebay/paypal (same company). People have had their PayPal funds blocked for myself (a friend of mine included) of up to several thousand dollars sending these sellers to bankrupt. Since Paypal is not a bank and the U.S. Government of course doesn't regulate this random financial entity account owners are screwed. With PayPal is always the same story, when things don't work they'll tell you it's your fault. They're always right.

.

For those wishing to file a Class Action against eBay/PayPal:

http://www.43things.com/things/view/193389/file-a-class-action-lawsuit-against-ebay-and-paypal [43things.com]

http://www.screw-paypal.com/paypal_lawsuits.html [screw-paypal.com]

Re:Always the same story (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402989)

Meanwhile their Turbo Lister software was released nearly 10 years ago and it's still the piece of software that crashes the most and the most randomly of all the software I have ever owned (including Windows ME). Dozens of thousands of users complaints have been thrown into the trash bin. Ebay is always right.

Of course they say that (2, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402531)

God ferbid they spend a dime on honest to goodness black box QA testing on all platforms and browsers.

Re:Of course they say that (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403031)

Sounds like a lousy time for selling, but a great time for BARGAINS. If half the buyers can't access the new pages then that's half as much competition on the bidding.

I get that a lot with hotmail (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402541)

It seems to have a lot to do with the way they name their Javascripts and stuff. But once I clear cache and cookies, it goes away for a few weeks or a few months. That's probably when MS changes things again. This doesn't happen on most sites... seems most that it happens on ones that are, I am guessing, breaking some sort of rule.

I've had similar problems (5, Interesting)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402549)

I've had similar problems and it always comes back to the javascript they are using. If I change the way the JS is allowed via AdBlock or NoScript, things start working... if I keep it at my normal settings, the descriptions disappear.

Re:I've had similar problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402619)

I am a one man software guy, I test stuff on a couple of computers and friends computers and tell people nothing is wrong, I always thought that was lame, but I am just as good as Ebay!!!!

Obama's a lying sack of horse shit. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402891)

'Nuff said. Fuck that cocksucking faggot.

Lack of standards. (2, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402551)

There was a short period of time when companies actually made sure their products were usable by people.
That was in 1970s.
Electronics then were not complicated, but sophisticated enough. And Walkmans would actually work.
Because Open Standards were harsh.
Like the standards for an audio tape or even an audio CD.
They were expected to work with ANY player as long as it met the standards.
That is why i could take a take from my boom box, plug into a walkman and listen on way to school and back.
Or how LP records worked.
Standards governed and restricted how companies could use "innovation" to screw up their own products.
The rot started with Sound Blaster.
It was an Industry standard as opposed to open standard.
Browsers? There is no standard today.
Once you take away a standard that sets minimum expectations, then obviously things don't work.
Blaming eBay is easy. Blaming lack of standards and blaming all is hard.
WHom should we blame? Microsoft for their UTTER lack of interest in adopting open standards?
IBM for its insistence on peeing into the wind?
Netscape for its collosal stupidity in failing to set standards?
eBay for not knowing what a standard is and breaking things up?

Re:Lack of standards. (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402591)

The problem here is there are open standards for web sites, published by the W3C. HTML4, CSS, DOM.

If eBay would follow the standards and perform some basic testing on the common browsers which all happen to be easily available for testing, they could assure the site would work for everyone.

They're going beyond the standards and trying to do some browser-specific scripting no doubt, or utilizing features that are buggy in some browsers and beyond the basic standard.

All this to try and be cute. And make their pages feel more dynamic.

If they weren't doing this, nobody would be complaining, noone's experience or ability to use the site for it's intended purpose would be getting degraded.

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402663)

Of course they would do.
If i were a tape player manufacturer, i would try to "enhance" the features by offering non-standard features: like LP recording (twice the capacity at half the speed, thus making it unplayable on any other system), etc.
The fact is that punishment is absent when you don't follow standards.
If Sony made a walkman that didn't hold a Tape, it can't advertise it could hold a Tape(false adverts) and the market would instantly punish it for it.
How do you punish a monopoly like eBay?

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403033)

How do you punish a monopoly like eBay?

Sell/Buy on craigslist.

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402699)

Perhaps it's my geeky-nerdiness, but "function first, flash second. if flash compromises function, remove the flash."

Re:Lack of standards. (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402871)

I would agree with that.

But a lot of people seem to prefer keeping the flash, even if it compromises function a bit.

The Google home page design philosophy seems to be the exception to the rule, most businesses follow the Yahoo philosophy, meaning more flash = better, sometimes even better than working 100% correctly.

Wanting things to just work and be simple, fast, and efficient as possible seems to be a totally nerdy/geeky thing.

Most of the marketing and business people who make actual decisions seem to think flashiness is really really important, even if it means the site's coding will be much more complex, a good bit slower/less efficient, more memory hungry, and have some bugs.

Re:Lack of standards. (4, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402951)

But a lot of people seem to prefer keeping the flash, even if it compromises function a bit.

Yup. Slashcode is an excellent example of this. [sigh]

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403035)

Slashcode is an excellent example of this. [sigh]

Preach it Brother!

Re:Lack of standards. (0, Flamebait)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402919)

HEY!
I like my Flash just the way it is.
WHo the heck cares about functionality when style is a lot better.
Which is why *NIX never won the Desktop while Windows Vista Rules the roost(!)

Re:Lack of standards. (3, Informative)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403009)

Most of the time, form and function can co-exist very well. It's just that eBay's developers are too lazy/incompetent to do it right, like the majority of web designers/developers.

It never ceases to amaze me how many "professional" web developers can't even write a basic HTML and CSS page without a dozen+ errors and sheer semantic idiocy (like using tables for layout).

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403037)

Or, more succinctly, "function over form."

Way too many people prefer "form over function" - I chalk it up to a completely self-centered view of the world "if it looks OK on my computer, it must work fine for everyone else too." They also seem to forget that they are in business to make money and every single customer that can't use their website is a lost sale, "pretty over profit"

You forgot: (0, Redundant)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402659)

GET OFF MY LAWN!

Re:Lack of standards. (3, Funny)

Strider- (39683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402675)

<sarcasm>The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.</sarcasm>

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402711)

There was a short period of time when companies actually made sure their products were usable by people. That was in 1970s. Yeah, like the DC-10 and the Pinto.

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402975)

Anyone who reflects on the halcyon days of '70s quality control has never driven a car made by British Leyland.

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403015)

Both of those machines filled their respective niches admirably.

The DC-10, by being an incredibly robust and versatile airframe (Mid-air re-fuelers are typically DC-10s, as well as the microgravity laboratory aircraft (a.k.a. vomit comet)). The pinto by being an affordable, safe, relatively fuel-efficient automobile.

  I fail to see what the point of that was.

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402733)

Let me see those rose-colored glasses for a moment.
I mean how hard is it to make sure your hammer does its job? there's no quality control in that. As things get more complicated it becomes FAR more difficult to make sure they work as intended.

Re:Lack of standards. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402861)

I mean how hard is it to make sure your hammer does its job? there's no quality control in that

Spoken like somebody who has no idea how manufacturing works.

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402933)

Obviously, you have never used a hammer seriously. I have. I am very picky about my hammers. What many slashdotters might call a "hammer", I would probably throw into the trash. I mean that very seriously - I have thrown hammers into the trash, because they were unfit for any serious use.

Junk aside - for what purpose do you need a hammer? I own about 15 different hammers, but I'll be damned if you'll get a ball-peen hammer to drive finishing nails with, or a chipping hammer to drive 16D nails with.

The type and quality of even a hammer is a non-frivolous matter to someone who really needs a hammer.

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402763)

There was a short period of time when companies actually made sure their products were usable by people. That was in 1270s.

There, fixed that for you =)
Aahhh, the halcyon days where one only had to operate the Halifax Gibbet, and not some fancy and oh-so-hard-to-use guillotine.

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402769)

Get off
my lawn
you crazy kids
putting more
than one word
on a line.

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402831)

Even in the '70s there were many computer and electronic systems that were pretty fundamentally hostile to user interaction. If you read 'The Design of Everyday Things', you'll find numerous examples.

Re:Lack of standards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402843)

I'm sorry, but if the problem actually is that people have to clear the cache there is nothing ebay can to besides tell people to do so. The cache is the browser storing parts of the page so it can load it faster, however, if those parts are changed you run into problems. Nothing the site can do about besides not change.

Re:Lack of standards. (3, Insightful)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402955)

what about setting cache rules on those files. its been some time since i last really developed a web site as i cheat now and use drupal but i remember there being a tag that would tell the browser how long a page could be cached for if at all. By your logic instead of a programming managing its memory you think the user should just have to reboot the computer when the memory is full.

When you provide a service to a customer and they are complaining about something not working and you test and test and it works fine it means you have to go deeper and work with your customer to see the issue. you cant just tell them its there problem and expect them to stick around as paying customers.

Re:Lack of standards. (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402863)

There was a short period of time when companies actually made sure their products were usable by people. That was in 1970s.

Yes. All companies during that decade had perfect products, a feat never achieved before or since. A Sears n' Roebuck stove from 1898 was as likely to be a piece of crap as a Zippo lighter is today.

Electronics then were not complicated, but sophisticated enough. And Walkmans would actually work.

Oh, electronics. My iPod works fine. So does my TI calculator and my Motorola cell phone.

The rot started with Sound Blaster. It was an Industry standard as opposed to open standard.

Yeah, Sound Blaster was notorious for shenanigans like EBCDIC. Oh, wait, that was someone else, long before Creative Labs existed.

Re:Lack of standards. (2, Insightful)

dstar (34869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402965)

The problem is not a lack of standards. The problem is failing to follow standards.

Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402555)

Expecting users to switch browsers or clear cache to see page text is absurd.

If users can't see description text, they have a bug in their application.

By the way. I'm not at all pleased with the new eBay design.

They think they're being all fancy, cute, and Web 2.0-like i'm sure.

And in the process... forgetting about the quality of the user experience and ease of use (which includes not having to switch browsers, clear cache, cookies, re-login, and other voodoo "self help" techniques), which basically are hallmarks of a low-quality, poorly done, poorly tested web site.

And straight up, that sucks, and shows unprofessional behavior on eBay's part IMO.

It's not the least bit hard to hire and train CSRs who won't blame the user for everything, and who'll actually help determine what's going wrong, and get the user in touch with someone to report the bugs....

Blame the user, or their choice of browser is the absolute worst thing they could possibly do. In a decade when standards-based is the norm, and REAL web-sites are tested and qualified with the major browsers, including IE7, IE8, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc, and any malfunction of the site is the site's problem, not just the complaining users' problem!

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402593)

Expecting a user to clear their browser's cache is absurd?

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (4, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402649)

<META HTTP-EQUIV="expires" CONTENT="Wed, 19 Feb 2003 08:00:00 GMT"> <!-- or any other day in the past, place in all your pages-->

Hey Ebay, I just fixed the cache clearing problem, can I get paid now?

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (2, Insightful)

robmv (855035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402727)

Will you write a program to update the files already cached on users browsers? will you distribute?, when something is cached, it is already cached. You can not force it to be cleared with a META tag. but that do not deny that EBay developers probably must be more careful how to use cache , maybe they need to start using versioned URLs for the applications assets like JS files

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (1, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402785)

Actually the code is serious and it does work. And no it won't clear the cache. It just won't use any cached items from February 19th, 2003 or before which is effectively forcing it to redownload everything.

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402885)

I live in New Zealand where it's still 2002 you insensitive clod!

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402961)

<META HTTP-EQUIV="expires" CONTENT="Wed, 19 Feb 2003 08:00:00 GMT"> <!-- or any other day in the past, place in all your pages-->

Yeah, but I keep my PC date as Sat, 1 Jun 1872. Your fix is broken make it work on my PC without me having to change anything!!!

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (1)

brentonboy (1067468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403027)

Um, it's not funny, it should be insightful. Adding this line should fix the problem.

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (4, Interesting)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402855)

As a occasional eBay user that posted an item last weekend, I can definitely say eBay is having problems.

1) Late last night, my listing and many others kept coming up as not being available.

2) Sometimes the description for a listing is shrunk down to half a visible line of text.

3) Sometimes the description for a listing is nothing empty space where you scroll down for three or four 'pages' only to find the eBay footer with nothing else, no place a bid button or whatever is usually at the bottom of a listing.

I've seen this on Firefox 3.5.2 and 3.5.3 after clearing all cache, cookies, whatever, then logging straight back into eBay.

IMO the eBay UI continues to suck even more. I can't believe no one has built anything to compete with them.

Though, the great deals from Hong Kong and China on various bits and bobs are definitely worth it. $5 including shipping for something that sells locally for $35 is worth the two week wait. $85 for an ARM9 development [ebay.com] platform with LCD touch screen - gimme!

Re:Sorry, this is eBay's fault. (1)

unjedai (966274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402929)

By the way. I'm not at all pleased with the new eBay design.

They think they're being all fancy, cute, and Web 2.0-like i'm sure.

Their new design looks MUCH better than the old. I always thought the (now old) eBay page design was ugly and difficult to use but it looks like they've made some great improvements. If they can get it to actually WORK, I think they'll really have something.

bad plan (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402561)

ONe of the worst things that you can do as a company is blame the user/customer... that is unless their plan is to assume that their users are idiots and therefore wouldn't go elsewhere or they haven't thought this out at all.

Re:bad plan (2, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402581)

ONe of the worst things that you can do as a company is blame the user/customer.

Really? It seems to work quite well for Microsoft. :)

Re:bad plan (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402741)

screwing the customer works fien for near monopolies but not so well when you consider the fact that Ebay isn't the only game in town any more. If they screw up too much people might start using craigslist and alternatives more.

Re:bad plan (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402851)

Microsoft may screw their customers, but it does not blame them afterward :/

Re:bad plan (2, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403041)

WGA and piracy

Re:bad plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402777)

ONe of the worst things that you can do as a company is blame the user/customer...

Sometimes the error is caused by the user, and acting like it's your (the company's) fault doesn't help the users or the company at all.

The only way is to establish where the error resides from and communicate that in a positive and helping way. If the user is at fault, educate them in a positive way.

Companies these days are far to afraid of blaming the users in fear of retribution.
Users who do errors and always blame the company is actually a customer the company would gladly be without.

Re:bad plan (1)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402999)

except in this case there customer base consists of mostly computer illiterate people and that the issue is more or less caused by a software glitch by them forgetting a simple line of code to block the cached files from being used more then a few hours or a day.

if it was only happening on one browser or if it was far fewer people having issue i would completely agree with you. However as a developer in those cases i always ask a user to show me what they did to have the problem because 9/10 times i can tweak the app's validation rules to ensure the issue does not occur.

Re:bad plan (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402963)

eBay has been doing that for years.

Stopped using Ebay for selling/buying back in 2003 (2, Informative)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402567)

Sold from 1999 to 2003, and got fed up with eBay and their ignoring feedback from users. Now they seem to have taken it seriously and still screwed up yet another revision (5 years plus in the making). Go eBay, e-i-e-i-o.

Re:Stopped using Ebay for selling/buying back in 2 (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402913)

It took them FIVE YEARS to design this "new" interface? It still looks worse than craigslist. I think Ebay would best be off licencing the data, and then providing the backend for ebay, and letting third party users plug into their database/backend and provide their own 3rd party front end "officially licenced by ebay". Look how well this works for the National Weather Service. You've got weather.com, weatherunderground, other sites like stormpulse and various other ones, all providing specific things the others don't offer, and in tight, clean packages.

Re:Stopped using Ebay for selling/buying back in 2 (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29403039)

Correct me if I am wrong but the National Weather Service isn't In Business for Money.

so glad to hear that other people have problems... (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402583)

I thought that it was just me. I have been worried that I had a bit of spyware or something, pages are just not acting right, but only in ebay.

Nice comparison there... (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402585)

Interesting how in the before/after diagram, they zoomed out the old item page to make it look less clear. Also, they chose a crappier picture (and an entirely different product).

This is the kind of sloppiness/deviousness I expect fat-burning pill advertisements, not a big corporation like eBay. They should have shown the same product at the same resolution so people could objectively see the differences.

Re:Nice comparison there... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402747)

They should have shown the same product at the same resolution so people could objectively see the differences.

THey *should have* but they probably realized that there were few if any advantages to the new system and decided to obscure this fact. Now they've been ratted out and their blunder is on the first page of Slashdot. Oops?

More business for Craigslist!!! (5, Informative)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402589)

Excessive use of fragile and unreliable, non-standards-compliant Javascript? Check.
Excessive use of meaningless graphics, slowing browsing and usability but reducing the number of successful page changes by clients? Check.
Obvious uselessness for those with visual problems? Check.
Unnecessary re-arrangement of straightforward design to force a "new paradigm" as part of some advertising exec's "new vision"? Check.
No improvement in user experience or actual usable features added? Check.
Disable current generation of sniping tools, forcing them to hire engineers for at least 30 minutes work to update their clients? Check.

Driving people to the plain-text, plain-language, you can even rent cheap hookers there traffic of Craigslist? Check.

Re:More business for Craigslist!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402635)

Driving people to the plain-text, plain-language, you can even rent cheap hookers there traffic of Craigslist? Check.

Never looked back.

Re:More business for Craigslist!!! (0, Flamebait)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402789)

Disable current generation of sniping tools, forcing them to hire engineers for at least 30 minutes work to update their clients? Check.

oh boo-hoo, cry me a river.

I know it's a perfectly legitimate bidding strategy, but I'll be damned if I give those making use of sniping tools any sympathy that they would have to rewrite them / have them rewritten - same as 'SEO' people complaining about any search engine (well, Google) changes.

Javascript's the problem, not the solution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402597)

From TFA:

2. Inadequate Pictures. Pictures are an invaluable tool for buyers and eBay pictures were considered inadequate due to small size, poor quality, and overwhelming emphasis on text information.

"No shit, Sherlock", but eBay's cure was worse than the disease.

With the "new hotness", I now have pictures that obscure the auction listings when I'm scrolling through items because Javashit thinks I'm hovering over the image (bad! stop doing that! I didn't ask you to do that!). If I find an item of interest and want to look at the pictures, I get a pop-up window (WTF?) with a slide-show-like sidebar (worse!), and since the whole shebang requires Javashit to display anything, and that very same script denies the ability to right-click-saveAs the image, it's now considerably more difficult to actually compare the image of a product with a reference image.

For that matter, it's now practically impossible to compare two images of the same item with each other. When eBay used URLs that pointed to .JPGs, you could middle-click them to pop the image open in a new tab for viewing or saving. With the "new hotness", you're middle-clicking javascript:void(), and nothing happens.

None of which addresses the root cause of the problem: 99% of the time, it's a crappy cell phone picture taken at 640x480, or generic clipart from the item's manufacturer, where you're lucky if it's 320x200. That's not eBay's fault, that's the sellers' fault.

If you want to solve the problems with images, stop hiding them behind Javascript-reliant slide-shows. Less Web 2.0 crap, more usability testing. Fucking web designers. It's no longer an auction listing site, it's a web technology demo. Hey, web designers, maybe if you stopped this continual race of trying to keep your resumes well-padded and buzzword-compliant at the expense of end-user usability, your customers might not leave you in bewilderment and disgust, and you might not need to hand your resumes out as often.

Sounds familiar (3, Funny)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402613)

Javascript causes a new interface to act up, be unreliable and unpredictable on all browsers across all platforms? Now where have I heard that before?
;)

Works on my machine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402625)

Sounds like the ebay customer service rep has met the requirements of the prestigious Works on my machine [codinghorror.com] certification program.

This can't be ebay's falt.... (5, Funny)

McFortner (881162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402627)

Their new layout has a 100% feedback and hundreds of people have it as "A++++++++++++++!!!"

Re:This can't be ebay's falt.... (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402981)

It doesn't even matter. Everything I ever look for on Ebay is at least twice what I would find it anywhere else. The convenience-tax pricing at Ebay increases faster than the price of cigarettes in Manhattan.

This doesn't surprise me at all... (5, Interesting)

whydna (9312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402647)

I went to a presentation a few years ago by a pair of eBay's senior engineers where they were discussing their architecture and technology. They explained their Java-on-Windows two-tier architecture (web front-ends which are handling all of the business logic, database backends, little-to-no caching, etc). They explained how they have pools of servers for handling different page types (i.e. search vs. gateway vs. help, etc) and how they sometimes have brownouts in some pools because they mis-predicted the number of servers they needed in that pool.

During the Q&A, somebody asked them, "what's the biggest challenge that you guys face?"; the response was "fitting enough information in the browser's cookie... 4k really isn't enough information for us". A follow-up question was asked about why they didn't just use a session-id key and store as much data as they want in a database or cache, etc. They basically admitted that they didn't have the technical strength to build something like that at their scale.

I asked them why they allow users to post JavaScript in their posts as it basically turns all of eBay into a cross-site scripting bug. I know for a fact that sellers have been able to include JS in their posts which can record the max-bid of the buyer. Sure, it's against the TOS, but only if they catch it. Their response was that it's what their customers (read sellers) want.

The point I'm getting to is that eBay, despite having one of the most popular websites in the world employs some bass-ackward technical solutions and business policies. What's reported in this doesn't surprise me at all.

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402805)

I'm not surprised. The good engineers left eBay a long, long time ago. I've seen so many eBay resumes and bios over the last few years, and nearly all of them were junk. The whole organization is so bloated, no one sees more than a small part of the operation, and their hires don't really require more than basic knowledge of java and web applications.

In previous years, you'd see a fair amount of coders with decent university degrees end up at eBay, but in the last 5 years, you see people even less impressive than Oracle hires (if that's possible). All the flotsam and jetsam of schools you've never heard of from countries all over the far side of the world, with long histories of short-duration jobs.

Around 2004-5, Yahoo hired many of their best people. More often than not, if you see a resume/bio that says someone worked at eBay for a few years, and then suddenly became a "Sr Eng Mgr" at Yahoo in those years, it means that they were above average coders whom Yahoo paid a lot to jump ship. Because of Yahoo salary guidelines, they had to give them fancy 2nd-tier management titles in order to pay them more than a certain amount.

Probably more than you wanted to know, but my opinion is that eBay staff jumped the technological shark a long time agao.

Same story here... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402889)

Posting AC to protect the innocent...

A few years ago my company's software (Windows/.NET-based) was in use by eBay for some functionality. They had some dedicated Windows boxes set up to run it. One time they had a problem with it, and getting even basic diagnostic information out them was impossible (even though they were escalating it as some big emergency).

The relationship ended after they decided they wanted to re-architect things and move our stuff closer to their back end. I was on the conference call when we had to explain to them that our .NET code wasn't going to run on their IBM AIX-based servers.

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all... (3, Insightful)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402953)

In terms of storing things in cookies instead of the backend, I can understand their reply. Why did GMail have an outage a few weeks ago [blogspot.com] ? Because the load balancing layer, which from what I can tell is required to steer you to the server your session is on, wasn't scaled properly to accommodate new code, some of which was designed to help improve service availability.

Unless you design things very carefully (and the larger the site the more carefully this stuff has to be designed), creating server sessions can mean exposing your users to single points of failure. It can also mean subjecting users to bad user experiences when their session times out.

Storing sessions in memory cached in a single server, with a router to get you to the right server, backed by a clustered database seems like a good solution, but is complex and can have performance problems. Which seems to be what happened to Google. Also remember that cache layers are great for reading, but problematic in a situation with lots of writing (for example, Ebay).

Does it matter whose fault it is? (4, Insightful)

GTarrant (726871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402683)

I guess my thought is, it really doesn't matter if it's the user's fault or not.

If you're a company selling something - a product or service - it's up to you to make it simple to use for the people that are trying to use it (or at least, the people in your target market that are trying to use it), or lose their business. It doesn't really matter if they're doing it wrong. If they come to your site with the same browser and system they have always used and suddenly it doesn't work, well then the fact that it's the browser that's implementing something wrong doesn't matter to them because the site worked well before. Maybe it is. Maybe there's a minor thing the site implements wrong.

I look at this and feel like this is simply a classic case where you have a team of developers that are doing the website at eBay, or any major corporation, and they like having jobs. So at some moment in time there is a necessary site redesign, and they spend months, perhaps years, working on it. Then the site goes live, they spend the next few months to work out the bugs, and there's the question "OK, so, what do we do now?"

So the obvious question is "We start work on the NEXT-NEXT generation website! We'll start on it right away!" And this cycles over and over, because if you say to management "You know what? The website we have is pretty damn good, functional, and we've worked most of the bugs out - there's no need to upgrade", the next thing to say is "So we don't need a gigantic web development team, right?"

This is the only reason I can think of for some of the upgrades I've seen at major websites the past year or so - websites that were previously functional, easy to use, fast, etc. and are now buggy, overladen with crap, etc.

Re:Does it matter whose fault it is? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402947)

"This is the only reason I can think of for some of the upgrades I've seen at major websites the past year or so - websites that were previously functional, easy to use, fast, etc. and are now buggy, overladen with crap, etc."

Here's looking at you, /.

Re:Does it matter whose fault it is? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402969)

Yeah. I work in aerospace. In the ten years I have been with this company I have seen them pull their system apart and put it back together in a novel way three or four times. The motto in this industry seems to be "lets break it so we can get paid to fix it again".

Firefox updates causing the problem? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402691)

My firefox start acting terribly flaky after the last update. I uninstalled and reinstalled it, still flaky, then, mysteriously, it started working again. This is under linux, not windows, so the problems are not likely an OS issue. Firefox developers seem to be doing some weird stuff lately.

Regardless of where the fault is... (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402693)

Users don't want explanations. They want solutions. A fact that I'm sure most developers are painfully aware of.
Even if the problem is at their end, they still want it to work the way it did before. Even if Ebay is justified in their response, they still need to try and do something about it if they want to keep their users happy.

Doing it Linux style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402703)

Blame the user!

On a mac since 1999 with Ebay and never a problem (1)

herojig (1625143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402731)

Maybe the design is NOT broken. I use ebay weekly and have done so for almost a decade and can't remember one interface problem. I do however have a problem with Ebay pricing, but that's another slashdot for another day...

In other news - Linden Labs purchases Ebay (1)

Nurseferatu (946800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402765)

I must have missed the announcement... Oh - and for all those who will respond by making snide remarks about SL and those of us who attempt to utilize it....bite me.

CraigsList Keeps It Simple. Shame Slashdot Doesn't (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402781)

CraigsList does it right. Very simple interface, and displays fast and reliably.

Shame even Slashdot doesn't. I'm using classic index, and that's greatly helped, but still see little "x"s, such as next to most every menu item on the right hand side - on my browser, for example, "Prefs" is followed by a space and "x".

I don't understand what all the Javascript and other extra nonsense in most sites (some noteable exceptions are interactive apps, such as Google Maps, which works amazingly well) is needed for other than glitz; being web 2.0, whatever that means - to me it means, more often than not, broken!

Ron

Re:CraigsList Keeps It Simple. Shame Slashdot Does (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402865)

There are a number of posts in this discussion saying what you said, but I can't say I agree. I remember the old Slashdot, and the new Slashdot is a big improvement. I've never had a problem loading the site or having it work incorrectly, although years ago I had longstanding problems with Slashdot. Also, I like the new eBay layout better than the old one. It's nice. Moreover, I generally like the new wave of advanced website interfaces, which I find much more compelling than plain HTML pages.

That's just my two cents. I have no criticism of your opinion.

Re:CraigsList Keeps It Simple. Shame Slashdot Does (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402977)

You're both right. The new slashdot is faster to use and ostensibly more usable. However, it's also horrendously slow and bloated and breaks at times.

Re:CraigsList Keeps It Simple. Shame Slashdot Does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29403005)

ie 6 at work. text floats randomly in comments. current firefox at home. Start dragging the task bar down and all of the sudden poof, i'm 200 pages further down in the comments. Yup, craigslist has the right idea.

Re:CraigsList Keeps It Simple. Shame Slashdot Does (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402993)

By far the best part of Slashdot 2.0 is that you can open up replies inline instead of having to jump to a new page (possibly in a new tab). Everything else is mostly a wash, although I hate how they've forced a specific font on the comments and front page. There's a reason I set Bitstream Vera Sans as the default font and the font to use for all the font families...

What new design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402817)

I just went to eBay and it looks and works the same as it always has.

One CS rep's comments... (2, Insightful)

Nakor BlueRider (1504491) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402823)

The comments given by one rep in customer service doesn't really equate to eBay as a company blaming users. Clearing cache and cookies is pretty much an eBay rep's cookie cutter response for any such problems, and if that doesn't work they try other things. Or it could be the rep was just bad, didn't get a memo, or that they hadn't filed a bug yet.

Trust me, I'm no fan of eBay, but I don't think it's valid to say the company is blaming users for the description errors based on that one rep's comment alone.

rule 1 for using script tags, use noscript tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402879)

that way if you write broken javascript, at least users will know

A new standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29402883)

Perhaps Ebay can become the new standard! Forget Acid3, if you can view Ebay, your browser is how it should be.

Ebay has sucked for a long time (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402949)

I used to be able to use Firefox. Then, only IE would work. That is when I quit using eBay. Who cares what they do anymore. Fuck 'em.

eBay's UI *always* sucked (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29402967)

I complained to them about a year ago before the new design because you couldn't see stuff if your screen resolution was not high enough. They blew me off in a round-about way. Thus, this is not new.

I wish these websites would have a KISS Mode, where all the browser-busting eye-candy could be turned optionally off. And no, I don't mean these guys [wikipedia.org] .
   

Ebay SCAM (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29403011)

Years ago, I had an ebay account with two negative feedbacks. Instead of trying to get them removed, I just opened a new accout. My new account was in excellent standing for more than 3 year and I was a platinum power seller. I was given an ebay account manager along with a paypal manager because of the monthly volume I was selling. One day, my platinum power seller account was closed and I called to see why. My manager said that my powerseller account had been linked to my first account, which was not in good standing and was closed by ebay. It takes ebay 3 years to link accounts? I've had the same address and IP address for the past 15 years. I asked what I had to do in order to reopen my powerseller account and I was told by my ebay manager, that I had to resolve the 2 negative feedbacks on my original account (which was more than 4 years old by this point). I managed to log into my original account with my managers help (because I no longer used that email address associated w/the original account). Once I logged into my original account, I emailed both buyers and asked if they would be willing to remove their negative feedbacks. Both customers agreed. Both customers left negative feedback because they felt as though they overpaid. I offered to give them $100 each to make things right. I called my ebay manager back and told him both buyers would remove their negative feedbacks, which he told me, would put my original account back in good standing, which would re-open my powerseller account. The following day, my ebay manager called me and said too much time had passed for me to resolve these feedbacks and ebay would not allow my customers to remove them. I appealed this all the way up to the office of the president and got nowhere. I will join any class action lawsuit out there in an effort to get reinstated on ebay. My customers always recd their merchandise. I paid over 5k per month just in ebay listing/selling fees. That should tell you the volume I was doing. This doesnâ(TM)t include the fees I paid each month to paypal, which of course, Iâ(TM)m banned from them to.
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