The Practice of pre-Vizualization

From 2008-present, the ebay design culture has been transforming. By adding new formats of workshops to the vocabulary, eBay began to ‘rehearse’ their future. Creative problem framing, workshop facilitation and improv training have all been examples of a new infused set of skills within ebay design.

I Started the preVIZ movement at ebay after watching the extras from my kids DVD’s

Member Team


Why Visualize Early?


The insight came from Hollywood. Insert Design and visualization early in order to make better decisions about what to build. This turned out to be a novel idea for an emerging commerce company with a growing portfolio of experiences. Giving ebay an ability to ‘rehearse’ their future became a valuable asset.


Team structure:

Modeled after a SEAL team. A Small, Cross disciplinary team that is highly trained.
Each member has a specialty. At the center is a seasoned leader,
capable of design thinking and making.

Storytelling Potential Futures

The economics of video have changed, and so have the opportunities of companies to create momentum for stories. I started a group called preVIZ that helped create a vocabulary for this change. ebay was now rehearsing their future. In a bold move of design deliverables, ebay motors created a video concept called My Garage, a vision of their future with a virtual garage. The video was created in 8 weeks. The narrative inspired a hundred person product team before a single line of code was written. The success of Motors led to the electronics team wanting to envision their future. What happens when electronics enthusiasts around the world can better understand the value of what they own? This video entitled My Gadgets was about the promise of a service that showed the value of what you owned. The impending video was created in 4 weeks prior to starting the production. The video captivated the leadership, inspired the production group and ended up being the launch video for the product.

Role: Director of preVIZ

Video Collaborator: Sandwich Video

A Global Garage


Normal mock-ups and Web design wasn’t cutting it. The challenge was to ignite the excitement of an entire division around a simple idea.


Very quickly a video was discussed on how to bring the value proposition of such a service to life. This was under the guidance and direction of a project that needed steam and energy. By pre-Visualizing the service, it created a ‘global north’ that empowered a business to say, “Let’s go build THAT vision.”



Momentum Making

The future of Local

Something magical happens when you put pictures to motion, early in the process. The question that lingers is…


That question alone is the most important to help build momentum inside a project or organization. We created several quick ‘commercials’ of the future this way. In this example, we took 4 days and quickly did a commercial on what the future of shopping locally might feel like.

Headlines of the Future


On this particular day, executives from both ebay and Kate Spade Saturday were beginning to get serious. I had the pleasure to facilitate their workshop. One of the exercises we do is mutual ‘Headlines of the Future’. There was a lot of energy around this one


No one really thought about it at the time, but the energy continued. Six months later, they launched the first expression of has come to be known as ‘Connected Glass’. This early team was able to rehearse their future and build a headline that actually came true.