(craigslist redo redo, originally uploaded by mathowie)
I’ve been a longtime user of Craigslist. I got my San Francisco Apartment using it, bought a few things, and eventually I met Craig and we’ve talked at conferences together about what it takes to run a community. At the recent SXSW fest, a panel redesigned Craigslist. It’s a definite improvement and it looks fantastic (they redesigned the listing pages as well). Other designers took a crack at a craigslist redo that was closer to the original.
The one thing I really didn’t like about the SXSW Craigslist redo is that the top bar is all wrong. The dark color pushes it back for me, in a banner-blindness sort of way. I didn’t notice it at all for the first minute I looked at the new site. Then I thought about how I use Craigslist, and I’m a big searcher. I either search from the front page, or I dive into the appropriate Sale/Wanted section and search there. I know the tech behind Craigslist is pretty simple and they’re not much of a search/IT company, but I would love it if they surfaced search in such a way.
So I redid it. Here is the full size version. I took a screenshot of the redesign and moved stuff around in Photoshop to my liking. It’s obviously a very Google-like redesign, but then that’s how I use Craigslist. I could picture the Craigslist subpages carrying the search at the top just like a Google result page (just the top 100px or so), so this theme could be continued throughout the site.
A rare thing, that an organization never has to pay for a redesign. …they could just pick from submitted ideas from any number of people who would gladly contribute to a servie they use and appreciate.
I guess there is a lesson there. Build things that people will care about.
One thing I like about the current Craigslist design is that work well with the limited screen and capabilities of my PocketPC. The more graphics added reduce usablility on mobile devices.
Surely a mobile style sheet would/could be devised to layout the “new” design appropriately on a mobile device.
You can’t possibly hope to do one layout that works for all media. For the same reason you have vertical and horizontal and all manner of other layouts of a print design, you have multiple, purpose specific style sheets that layout your web design appropriately.
Why have an ugly difficult to navigate squished up website for the sake of it fitting on a palm pilot when you can create two purpose built layouts.
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