Winter 2019

Craigslist Redesign for Students

Creating a redesign of Craigslist aimed towards student demographics.
  • Research
  • Prototyping
  • Rebrand
  • My Role

    Research, Brainstorming, Design, Prototyping


    Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD and Whimsical


    Interactive prototype of redesigned Craigslist


    6 week long school project

    Working with Daniella Sapiente

    Brainstorming, and first design iterations


    How might we help evolve Craigslist for students so that the site expands their younger demographic, and gets more students actively using the site?


    To create a redesigned version of Craigslist that helps create a feeling of safety, community, and overall an enhanced journey aimed towards younger users.

    The Current Craigslist Experience.

    How might we help evolve Craigslist for students so that the site expands their younger demographic, and gets more students actively using the site?
    "Restore the human voice to the Internet, in a humane, non-commercial environment." - Craigslist Mission Statement

    Craigslist acts as an online portal to connect people to real world things. You can buy, sell, find jobs, sell services, host events, find people you missed, and so much more.

    The reason for it's success is in the trust that Craigslist puts in the people. The community moderates, they facilitate everything, and Craigslist just makes all their revenue on the AD postings alone.

    Doing the Research First.

    62% of online 25-34 year olds and 57% of 35-44 year-olds use online classified ads, around 39% 18-22 year olds use these platforms. Although it's fantastic that adults are using the website, their younger engagement on the site is depleting. This means Craigslist may become in danger of less traffic in 10+ years.

    By expanding the sites younger demographic Craigslist would have more unique visitors, and it would create an environment where it would be the "go-to" for many young people moving to new cities.

    Craigslist Free Listing Page

    Sheridan Students from IXD

    What Do My Users Want? 🤔

    To better understand why certain things weren't working for students, I interviewed 8 Sheridan College students for in-depth 30 minute reviews to ask them questions about buying selling applications. I then uncovered 3 pillars that I could focus on when completing my final design.
    Better Safety

    Helping users feel more safe
    Warnings for unsuspecting users

    Better Community

    Emphasize the community aspect
    Create a way to communicate

    Better User Interface

    Creating a recognizable brand
    Decreasing clutter, making it breathable

    What were the pain points of my users?

    "I feel unsafe.." - Users were scared of where their information was going. Putting personal emails, addresses, or phone numbers could open you up to spam calls and unwanted visitors.

    "There are better sites.." - Many sites already do a great job of creating a feeling of safety, and community. The more active users the safer the application feels

    "The UI is horrible.." - It was hard for many users to find simple things like "Post an AD" and "Search". These functions are detrimental to Craigslist and needed to be re-thought

    Brainstorming and Designing

    Brainstorming new functionality. 🧠

    We needed to make sure the design changes we were making didn't feel intrusive, and that they were just enhancing the pre-existing content. For example, adding a navigation bar at the top for primary actions, and having a progress bar to show how long it takes to post an AD. Very small things that allow users to understand where they need to go.

    Our main goal was just to simplify the journey. I wanted to make the experience simpler while also maintaining all the functionality of the site. Many users pain points was that the website was previously just too clunky and unrefined so I planned out all the information I had to keep, and what I had to discard.

    Most important functions of the website 🙌

    Brand Name & Logo

    Creating a recognizable brand so users always know what site they are on.

    Post an AD

    Most important function of the whole application, how Craigslist makes revenue.

    My Account

    Putting more purpose in the account page helps establish a feeling of customization.

    Doing lots of design iterations...

    I wanted to make sure I was keeping Craigslist mission statement in mind while designing the new website. It wasn't about adding pictures, or fancy features, but just about enhancing the pre-existing content.

    I added slides, carousels, galleries, etc. but it wasn't staying true to Craigslist brand name. I just instead decided to go with a plain card layout (which is then modular and mobile responsive too), and not changing too many things that make it unfamiliar to existing users.

    Home Option 1 - Photocards
    Great visuals
    Easy to understand
    Photos take up space
    Requires content updates
    Home Option 2 - Gallery
    Add lots of content/buildable
    Too many clicks to get where you want
    Confusing UX
    Not accessible?
    Home Option 3 - Cards
    Buildable and responsive
    Quickly find what you want
    Least invasive from original
    Not a lot of visual

    The Final Designs

    These were the final designs I created. I wanted to go with a modern clean design and make the negative space enhance the content, adding too much would make the website too cluttered.

    Home Page

    1. Search bar
    2. Events and Community
    3. Rollover effect from hover
    4. Post AD, top right bright colour

    Post an AD page

    1. Back to previous step
    2. One question at a time, for a better experience
    3. Selected radio button, users can see all the options available
    4. Progress bar, interactive

    AD Postings Page

    1. Filters specific to that page
    2. Photo verified scores higher on page
    3. Product card, entirely clickable

    Final Prototype