7 Must-haves for intuitive and user-friendly interface auction platforms

Ivana brings us the 'must-haves' when creating an intuitive auction marketplace

A platform with a clean and intuitive interface can improve the user experience and make it easier for users to navigate and place bids. Platforms such as Christie's feature sleek and modern designs with vibrant visuals and clear product descriptions that are easy to navigate. But what specific features make them stand out?

Ivana works with multiple types of clients designing technology-orientated solution marketplaces. Today Ivana brings us the 'must-haves' when creating an intuitive, user-friendly auction marketplace for organisations looking to scale up:

1. Clear and Organised Layout

Good practice

A well-organised layout with clear categories and filters allows users to find what they are looking for easily. This is important for high-end products where users may have specific criteria that they are looking for.

Christie's is one of the world's leading auction houses for fine art and luxury goods.

Weak practice

Poorly designed Auction platforms are often characterised by cluttered interfaces with too many elements competing for attention, leading to a lack of focus and an overwhelming user experience. For example, search and filter options may need to be more intuitive, making it challenging for users to find what they are looking for, resulting in a negative user experience. Additionally, weak pages may have brief and insufficient product descriptions, making it challenging for users to understand the product. Again, this is especially problematic for high-end products where specific details or features may be crucial.

Next-Generation Practice

At NovaFori, we understand that each user has specific preferences and needs, so we provide them with the flexibility to customise the user interface accordingly. For instance, users can choose between grid, list, or table view when viewing auction listings. The product cards are designed to display the optimal amount of information, including a high-resolution image, bidding status, countdown timer, and current bid amount. Furthermore, to help users keep track of items they are interested in, we offer a watchlist feature directly from the auction view. Moreover, we provide additional sorting options to enable users to quickly find the items they are looking for, making their experience on our platform more efficient and enjoyable.

Design demo of NovaFori’s auction platform

2. High-quality Images and Videos

Having professional and high-quality images is essential for industries where visuals are important. For example, auction platforms for art and collectibles often feature detailed and clear images that give users a better sense of the item's condition, detail, and overall aesthetic appeal.

3. Detailed and Organised Product Descriptions

Good practice

Besides images and videos, these platforms often have detailed and well-organised product descriptions. The description could be divided into different sections and include information on the item's history, origin, condition, and other relevant details that may be important to potential buyers. Having detailed descriptions helps users make excellent and informative purchasing decisions.

Weak practice

On some auction platforms, the product descriptions can be lacking in detail or in structure, making it difficult for users to understand the item's actual value or condition. This can lead to confusion and mistrust among potential buyers, who may hesitate to bid without adequate information.

Next-Generation Practice

Our product descriptions are organised in a clear and easily understandable format. To achieve this, we divided the description into relevant sections, highlighting the main attributes of the product using simple and concise labels. Emphasising essential details through icons.

We keep the labels and attributes as short and transparent as possible so that it's easy for buyers to compare similar products. But, of course, sellers can always decide how descriptive or concise they want to be. However, our organised product descriptions will consistently distribute content to buyers in an easily digestible manner so that they can make informed decisions, leading to a higher likelihood of successful sales.

Design demo of NovaFori’s auction platform product description

4. Advance Filters

Do you have filters on your auction platform? Like most of the filters, do your filters show all available options, including the number of items associated with each filter? How often do you get empty results when multiple filters are combined? If your response is pretty often, you know how frustrating this is for your users and that you need to improve and make them more intuitive, which will help buyers find what they need quickly and easily.

Our filters are designed to search through large amounts of data in real-time. We are cross-referencing data each time a user selects a new filter. This way of filtering reduces the possibility of ending up with an unobstructed view and helps users find what they're looking for in seconds.

Design demo of NovaFori's auction platform for advanced filters

5. User-friendly Bidding Process

Good practice

Finally, well designed auction platforms typically have a bidding process that are easy to understand and navigate. Clear instructions on how to place a bid, notifications, and updates on bid status keep users engaged in the auction process, and confident in their ability to participate.

Weak practice

A modern and user-friendly bidding panel is crucial for a successful auction platform. An outdated design can make buyers uneasy and even distrustful, harming the overall bidding experience. It's also essential to provide buyers with all the necessary and updated information when placing a bid, avoiding confusion or discrepancies in messaging. Giving buyers the option to choose the amount of their immediate bid not only puts them in control of the bidding process but also helps ensure the right amount of information and clarity.

It is also good practice to show all additional fees, such as tax and shipping, in one place. This way, buyers can have a clear understanding of the total cost before they place their bid. In addition, being transparent about all included costs will help build trust with buyers, which is critical to a successful auction platform.

6. Automatic Bidding

Automatic bidding can be useful for buyers who want to stay competitive without constantly monitoring the auction. However, the platform must communicate the bidding increments and rules to ensure everything is clear. Additionally, buyers should be able to set their maximum bid and have the option to edit or cancel their auto-bid at any time before the auction closes. It's also important for the platform to clearly explain what happens when another buyer has a maximum bid set and how the bidding process will proceed. The platform can help buyers confidently make informed decisions and participate in auctions by providing precise and transparent information about auto-bidding.

7. Adjusted Mobile Experience

Having a responsive auction platform is essential for providing a seamless experience for buyers, sellers, and administrators. While it may be less common for admins to set up auctions from their mobile devices, it's still important to provide the ability to edit and manage auctions on the go. Additionally, ensuring that your platform is mobile-friendly for sellers is crucial, especially if your sellers are individuals who may be using various devices to submit their products for auction. Finally, providing a responsive platform increases accessibility and ease of use for all users, ultimately leading to higher engagement and sales.

Mobile friendly design demo of NovaFori's auction platform

Interested to keep reading about UX design and best practises for creating optimised auction marketplaces?

Final thoughts

Building an auction platform that includes everything from a user-friendly interface to advance search functionality and reliable bidding systems can be challenging. You will have to do in-deep planning and research and hire designers and developers who will know how to create a scalable and enjoyable auction platform for your buyers and sellers.

NovaFori provides auction technology solutions across diverse industries around the world. We adopt a collaborative and hands-on approach, combining our auction expertise with your industry knowledge and business requirements to design the right platform for you.

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