Cost and Style

My post on eBay-as-Flea Market received a bit of attention, including — judging by the referers — some folks from eBay. Later discussions with Tanya and Owen refined these ideas a bit, namely:

  • I was a bit sloppy in my use of the word design. eBay’s design works, though the style of the site — by reflecting the home-spun vernacular of sellers — can be low style
  • Low style is not the same as clean style or bad style. Low is the vernacular, clean can be a default look, and bad actually works against the design. Someone somewhere probably has expressed this better with different terms, but lacking that knowledge I’m running with it.
  • Low style and low cost — giving the perception of a Flea Market — can be good. These are not value judgments, but judgments of value.
  • Organization and classification is often secondary to other factors that communicate value, such as style and cost.

  • And so on. The interplay of style and cost most interested me, so I created a little matrix with pretty pictures:

    It’s a bit rough, but could turn into a fun little tool to clarify product design and marketing (‘Which quadrant are you in? They’ll all good, but different.‘). Might be nice to create a book of them, including ye ol’ value-complexity matrix.