Craigslist Redesign Concept
Modernizing a classic without jeopardizing user experience.
User Experience · User Interface
A Classic Giant
Craigslist is a buy-sell-trade website founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark. Craigslist originally was created as an email distribution list and quickly became a strong market that hosted jobs, housing, items for sale, services, community events, and much more. Craigslist today is known world-wide and can be used in well over 40 countries.
A Stagnant Design
Craigslist has never been a flashy website. The design has practically been the same for the entire lifespan very little customization. Craigslist has always been very barebones and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. While being very basic in style, Craigslist still manages to have one of the best user experiences in internet history. Everything is laid out directly in front of the user with nothing to hide. Craigslist is interesting with the fact that it has never really updated to continue to modernize itself. It has always just kept to itself and left the users to do what they needed. It thrives off of returning users and posters that trust its methods.
Craigslist is in no way in any form of danger. Being the 19th most visited website in the United States, Craigslist after all these years still holds an enormous user base. What exactly is keeping everyone here? How has it managed to have such a loyal user base? The answer is simple: Craigslist lets the users do what they need to do without interruption. Throughout your entire time browsing Craigslist, you will never be interrupted with anything. No popups, no ads, nothing. This simple philosophy of "leaving the users alone to do what they need to do" is as bold as it is effective.
Modernizing The Classic
My goal for this project was to see how far I could modernize Craigslist without taking away the strong user experience it currently has. I took inspiration from current design trends as well as item specific search engines, market apps, and auction websites. I also took a journey into the numerous B/S/T applications/websites that have cropped up over the years, namely things like FaceBook Market and LetGo. I wanted to get a feel for what the competition was doing to modernize before I gave this a chance.
I wanted to conduct some user interviews with the younger audience that regularly use online marketplaces to see why or why not they use CraigsList as well as what issues they have with the platform.
10 Users interviewed
6 Men - 4 Women
4 CraigsList users - 4 Facebook Marketplace users - 2 LetGo users
User Pain Points
The current website is not appealing to look at
Lack of trustworthiness
No user accounts or ratings, no clue who you are buying from
Postings are unorganized
Would like to see more organization options
8 out of 10 respondents felt that the website was outdated and was seen as a turnoff to use alternatives
7 out of 10 respondents felt that adding some sort of user profile or user rating system would drastically increase their trust in seller
Low Fidelity Wireframes
I went straight into Adobe XD with this project. I had a very clear vision in my head that I wanted to create and I knew exactly how I was going to do it. I wanted to prototype three things: the homepage, the posts page, and the creating a listing interface.
I started out by creating a basic outline with low fidelity wireframes that would give the basic idea of how the site would operate.
Beyond the homepage, the posts page, and creating a listing, I went ahead and also created prototypes for a login interface, a signup interface, as well as multiple homepages.
High Fidelity Wireframes
After creating the low fidelity mockups and setting the groundwork for how I wanted the new website to look, I went in and created a set of high fidelity wireframes. These will accurately showcase how the website will look and function.
Fluidity Is Key
The core principles of Craigslist needed to be present in this redesign. The users don't need to be bombarded with useless information and junk. I kept everything as clean as possible while simply updating the layout to give a more modern feel. Each interface needed to flow into one another without any sort of strong interruption. The information needed to be readily available to everyone, just like in the original website. The key is fluidity and experience.
An Interesting Take
Craigslist has always been the odd one out with its classic take on web design. With this redesign, I wanted to bring it up to par with other modern websites to really see what it would look like. I wanted to keep the foundation of the website and update it to include modern features.
Creating a New Post
User profiles were a well requested feature. User profiles and user ratings are great ways to legitimize users, build trust, and help secure sales. There's a level of anonymity on Craigslist, just due to the fact that it's built to be barebones, that a lot of people don't like. Trades can feel sketchy at times when you can't attach anything to the user selling. I believe user profiles alone can bring in a new wave of users just for the sake of more trust.
The design is modern, sleek, and isn't intrusive. I really wanted to keep the excellent user experience that Craigslist currently has and really just fine tune it. While maybe a small amount of that user experience was lost in the depth of a more modern user interface, it still stands strong. I want to continue this project and fully flesh out the website completely as well as create responsive tablet and phone versions that showcase the same. Adobe XD is an incredibly powerful tool for prototyping potential user interfaces and I can't wait to continue to grow my knowledge of the program.