1stdibs Trade Platform

Conception, Design, Direction, Strategy, User Experience

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Directed, designed, and managed the release of the 1stdibs Trade experience. Produced a connected platform for professional interior designers to network with high intent buyers and top tier dealers. Enabled registered Trade members to build an interactive portfolio within the 1stdibs ecosystem.


Michelle Thayer (Design & UX)
Caroline Ho (Development)
Andrew Scagnelli (Development)


While working on a complete rebuild of 1stdibs.com, a company initiative to produce and build out a service focused on helping connect, as well as display a working portfolio for Trade members came underway. Trade members are registered members of the Interior Design community, many of them being well known celebrities in the industry. Our goal was to produce a platform that allowed members of the Trade to both create an online 1stdibs contained portfolio of work, as well as connect with high intent buyers and globally recognized dealers. An ecosystem of interior design photography, design accolades, press features, fully written project descriptions and collections of favorites would be built over a short 3 month period, ready to launch at the beginning of Q2 in 2016.

My favorite part of this project was how it came to fruition. We were given a very short amount of time and extremely limited resources (one designer, two developers and a single strategist) to pull together an entire platform. This was also a project built completely from scratch, and although this was a huge undertaking, it allowed us to build from a new framework without the slow down of an problematic legacy infrastructure.

We kicked off with a few strategy focused brainstorms, devised a plan for , quickly began sketching concepts and building high fidelity prototypes. Within a month, we had a solid framework in place, where we began building out specific functionalities, such as the navigation and content display modules. By the end of the second month, the vision for the product was in full swing and we began pushing more refined ideas into action.

Active CMS Framework

One of the largest problems with a scalable network was the question of how users would populate, edit and publish their profiles. It was decided in the very beginning phase that we would produce our own fully functioning, standalone CMS, allowing both internal account representatives to assist in the account creations, as well as interior designers in uploading their own portfolio of content.

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Integrated Profile Functionality

Profiles were introduced for the first time in the 1stdibs experience, providing a platform that is scaling for all types of users on the platform. Users are able to setup their own profile imagery, business name, location, biography, awards & accolades, as well as link their own press features and Instagram feeds.

Details of Interactions

Time was spent towards the end of the project to focus on leveraging simple and effective animations that help smooth the experience of an array of functionality. The sub navigation provides a visually active state for selected links, users profile headers collapse upon scroll to ensure efficiency of screen real estate and social sharing interactions are cleanly folded into a sliding mechanism to minimize up front clutter. These interactions can be found throughout the experience, and they pave the way for future updates of the 1stdibs experience.


User Generated Content

After a trade member uploads a project, the data is compared to existing inventory on the website, allowing 1stdibs to pair specific items to images of those items within rooms. This helps the general consumer, as well as the dealer, in helping showcase what the actual item might look like within a specific type of room.

Item & Photo Tagging

Once we had the base service in place for creating profiles and uploading projects, we needed to create an extension of the product that would allow the entire 1stdibs experience to leverage this new data. We devised a plan to build a photo tagging level within our CMS that would allow users to place up to 5 tags on an image, attached with details of the maker, name of the item, color and a few more granular data points. These associated details on each image are then parsed on the backend of 1stdibs.com, where they are directly tied to similar items that are available for purchase. As a result, when you’re viewing a purchase page for an item, you can also view similar items within rooms.

The Final Product

In less than 3 months, I directed the conception, design and release of one of 1stdibs most lucrative aspects of business. With an extended 3 months, I was able to expand the service with a ground-up CMS system that both saves time for account managers, reduces cost of staffing and allows users to help not only manage their accounts, but generate new content for 1stdibs. This project is still rapidly growing to date, netting a large percentage of the worlds most recognized interior designers as its clientele.

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