eBay Gets Artsy and Appoints Marie Tahir to Head Up Design

EBay has created a new design role at the company, one that is expected to help influence the site’s user experience much earlier in the development process.

The person to be appointed to the job is Marie Tahir, who will be VP of design for Marketplaces, according to multiple sources.

Tahir will be part of the company’s global product management team and will report to Dane Glasgow.

She will assist with the monumental design challenge confronting the company as it tries to connect commerce across all the various platforms, such as mobile, local and social.

Tahir, pictured right, worked at Intuit, where she held two VP roles, one of which was focused on the development of consumer-facing products, such as TurboTax mobile, Web and desktop services. She also wrote the book “Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed” on the subject.

Her appointment coincides with an internal effort at eBay to beef up design and bring the user experience into the discussion earlier. The company uses the fancy name of “pre-viz,” which stands for previsualization, to talk about the role.

Some of the company’s artsy mojo can be seen externally at ebay.com/design/, where eBay’s designers show off the company’s culture.

Similarly, eBay-owned PayPal recently hired Sarah Brody, a seven-year veteran of Apple, to help with global design at the payments company.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work