Paypal Previews New Home Page

In: user experience

10 Sep 2004

Here’s what Paypal is going to look like. The feature-based lead ("send money", "request money") is replaced by a focus on audiences that gives a prominent place to eBay sellers. Fraud is acknowledged as an issue, both from the seller and buyer perspectives, which makes sense considering all the email phishing going on. It’s good that Paypal chooses to address this upfront; some companies would display a smiling child holding blue and yellow balloons while trying to sweep the whole thing under the carpet.
I have to ask though, was the smiling guy with a double chin tested with actual people, or is this the result of a creative brief supposed to convey trust for "people just like you" but gone a little astray in its execution?
Anyway, this new home page is clear and readable and its visual structure helps do more than the current barebone page which doesn’t use white space very effectively. Notice the top navbar remains the same so that millions of people don’t have to relearn how to use the site. What’s surprising though is that, despite the preview, Paypal doesn’t really ask for feedback, so it doesn’t seem they intend to tweak it further before launch.

09/12/04 update: apparently they’re aware Fatso Guy doesn’t work well for Europe, so they have a different guy for the French and British sites (and the side pitches reflect different concerns for less mature markets), while apparently German focus groups prefer seniors to black people as far as minorities go. Of course I have no idea whether this is actually someone pampering to cultural differences or national prejudices (depending on how you look at it) or just the result of random stock art choices. See screenshot below for prosperity.
Paypal forthcoming home page in the US, UK, France, Germany

1 Response to Paypal Previews New Home Page



September 12th, 2004 at 10:35 pm

Just from my own experience and a previous engagement:
I had to translate and localize an entire US-site for the German market. I pointed out that the chosen pictures (a series of corporate-type portraits) did not work well for Germany because, well, the pictures, the styling, everything just didn’t look German.
So the US-based design agency we used had some more images on stock, readily available, and I was able to pick and choose from the left-overs. well, I picked the portraits that looked “most German” – even though it was just a
slight improvement. Nevertheless, it was a quick way to solve the problem, even though it clearly wasn’t the best solution.
One could argue that Paypal should have the resources to do a better localization and/or choose better pictures… but sometimes… it just doesn’t happen ,-)

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I'm CEO of an online/mobile trade publishing firm in the marketing and defense verticals. We strive to make news and data digestible and useful in an environment that is noisier by the day.

This personal blog mixes my thoughts and interests on politics, business, publishing, software, and more. Over the years I have posted items that turned out spectacularly wrong, and a few posts that better stood the test of time.



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