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How might we offer various paths of exploration for every user to find what they love?

Redesign the search experience for users of Wallapop, increasing engagement and number of transactions from connected chats.


Wallapop grew rapidly as a commodity for the Spanish community looking for second hand deals. With this rapid growth, users 'habits formed in its early days (when the offering of the application was limited and less focused on revenue growth) were perpetuated by the design of the app. 

We needed to find ways to break the habits of users, expand the usage and therefore improve the experience and increase transactions.



of content explorations were keyword searches



very low number of chats end up in successful transaction

PROJECT & advocacy

This project was as much about educating internal stakeholders as it was of understanding and bringing value to users. It required a change of mindset, a change of behaviour, from the user who should learn to explore and browse and from our internal teams that needed to invest in the creation of a larger ecosystem - and not simply disjointed quick win features.

For this reason, we told the story of "Tax & Folk" repeated times and found alliances and guided other teams to contribute to add value to a broader cause, no silos. 

temporal ambidexterity

We quickly understood which pieces were enablers for the larger ecosystem: better filters flow (img below), more granular subcategories, a more intuitive navigation, an smarter upload experience, etc. We worked on those while we continued doing research to truly understand who our users were and how we could provide them a more engaging and satisfactory experience.

research findings

The most important takeaway was that even though we were technically only serving the needs of one type of user (the one searching for a specific item through a keyword), we had three main personas in our userbase with very different needs. We realised that the potential of engagement of these "untapped users" was much larger than that of the existing user archetype.  

From learnings to concepts

We translated the learnings into design criteria (Musts, should, could and won't). This of course was possible through collaboration with other teams. Being at the beginning of the transactional funnel of every user, it was important to keep in mind that our actions had repercussions on most of out metrics and flows.


From the criteria established we then moved on to create "the pieces" of the ecosystem. We did 2 rounds of design sprints involving various roles from engineering to business stakeholders.  

Working simultaneously with the branding team to create a design syleguide for subcategory and collection images that represented our identity and future brand ambitions.

New user flows

Being a marketplace, this impacted not only the buyer but also the seller. The solutions of the ecosystem and all their pieces provided ways for our buyers to be able to refine when searching, be inspired when browsing, be guided through suggestions in the right moment of their interest flow, and have better ways to estimate if the item proposed was the right fit. 

Both in the buyer and seller journey we saw organic increase of usage of these smaller pieces (over 50%).

validating assumptions(testing & measuring)

Throughout this whole process, product analysis collaborated with the research and design teams. The objective was to (in)validate assumptions and uncover blind spots in our approach. For this we did several prototypes and AB tests, interviews and focus groups (always being strict in the segmentation of our users according to the user persona profiles identified). 

final thoughts

This project was once that changed my career. It was my first step towards a leadership role. The importance of collaboration, having a vision, sharing a purpose with other designers in the tribe, organising our roadmaps and redefining OKRs was key to deliver more than simple adjustments. 

Change cannot be the labour of one, research cannot exist without collaboration of quantitative data and qualitative insights. This was my biggest learning and my playground to learn to be in a strategic management and leadership role.

Not included in this overview but you can ask me about: Taxonomy definition (data driven process), redesign of the menu and creation of a tap bar, usability testing on more mature audiences, design collaboration with machine learning team for more accurate search results

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