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Craigslist is a classified advertisement website that is designed to assist users in buying and selling products and services. In addition, Craigslist also allows its users to search for jobs, join discussion forums, and find/list housing. It services over 450 cities worldwide.

February 2022 (4 weeks)


User research, Personas, UX design, Ideation, Sketching, 
Wireframing, Prototyping

25-44 y.o internet users looking to buy/sell products & services


Why this matters

I observed that people seeking secondhand goods struggle with trusting the current Craigslist branding which causes them to move to other platforms with a better reputation and aesthetic

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Inefficient User-Experience

People seeking secondhand goods struggle with trusting the current Craigslist UI which causes them to move to other platforms with a better reputation and aesthetic

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Intuitive, memorable, and experiential design

Starting with the user flow, to design systems, and interactions; the goal is to build a usable interface for website and mobile application


User- Centered Design

Craigslist has been a topic for discussion amongst designers for a long time now. While some people call it highly successful and appreciate the simplicity and usability of the design. I agree that the website has a very low cognitive load on the user where they don't have to struggle with the website's navigation. However, the website has a lot of scope for improving the user experience without reducing the functionality. This project is heavily focussed on the visual design of the website.

Gain Points

Craigslist’s antiquated design works because it keeps the focus on the primary tasks of the user: buying and selling services/products. It allows the user to easily reach their goals, regardless of how pretty it looks.
When I was thinking of redesigning this webpage, I decided that I wanted to keep elements of it original look, but give it a light upgrade.

Because it services such a wide array of user needs, I wanted to focus on improving three main elements:









  • Conducting business (permanent/temp work, promote business, freelance, housing)

  • The buying and selling of goods and services (cars, clothing, etc.)

  • Promoting/finding community events


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Simplistic design
I always thought that a major problem with Craigslist was its outdated and basic design, however, I learned that because the design feels so rudimentary compared to other websites, people feel more comfortable selling their novelty and less valuable items. They don’t feel as pressured to have high-quality photos or extensive details and descriptions. They perceive their audience as having more realistic expectations of second-hand items.
“Functioning solely as a marketplace means people come armed with more appropriate expectations.”

Brand Perception

Craigslist is often viewed as a more “personal” and direct way to buy, sell, and promote goods and services. Unlike eBay, Craigslist doesn’t have “stores”. It simply feels like someone wants to get rid of a product and is looking to sell it to someone who is interested. The perceived honesty is a distinguishing factor for Craigslist. Their refusal to conform makes the company seem inclusive and comforting.

“ It has a certain “personal” component that causes people to have inflated expectations of your willingness to accommodate them”


Many users of the website discuss their appreciation for the local convenience of Craigslist. This feature is useful when users are promoting local services or selling larger items. They are able to save on shipping costs, as well as time.

“I sell bigger heavier items on Craigslist and other things I don’t want to ship for whatever reason”

Competitor Analysis

Facebook Marketplace



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  • Can use zipcode for search results

  • Visually motivated, can view product easily

  • On a major social platform

  • Easy to promote products on timeline


  • Doesn't show distance from one's location

  • Need to have an account to buy or sell


  • Visually appealing Ul / user-friendly

  • Can set distance preference

  • Can filter by price

  • Can sory by relevance, distance, etc.


  • Must make an account to buy/sell

  • Price isn't displayed without clicking on post

  • Not the best option for job seekers


  • There is a "Make an offer" feature

  • Very user-friendly

  • Can add tags to products/posts


  • Must download the app to sell products/services

  • All of the categories are not displayed

Defining the User

To understand the Users' Mindset, I decided to define the primary users. I included their demographics and basic needs to inform my product and cater to their demands.

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Thomas Gavin

"The Photographer"

26 years old; Seattle, Washington


  • Advertise photography services

  • Find local models for his shoots

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Kaelyn Lawrence

"Moving to NYC"

32 years old; Long Island, New York



  • Find a studio apartment in Manhattan

  • Purchase bedroom set for under $1000

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Marissa Thompson
"Post-grad job seeker"

21 years old; Tampa, Florida


  • Search for a job in local area

  • See new postings

  • Get notification for new jobs


I started with tracing the original website to get a better sense of elements and how I wanted to rearrage and redesign them

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Original Website

Next, I started iterating to decide on the overall website layout. I was contemplating about the top, bottom and side bar, and how I wanted to go about cards on the home page

Main Goals

Design for Hierarchy

Hide less important information

Redefine UI design

Create Brand Identity

Design Iterations

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The dropdown buttons were too much and beat the whole purpose of craigslist where everything was visible at once. This might add cognitive load for the users

This iteration was an attempt to just clean up the existing interface and did not come out as much of a redesigning. Since the interface was still clunky and usability of the website did not get any better in this design.

Too bare and too much contrast with how craigslist currently looks. While this does look cleaner, it might compromise with the website’s functionality.
The sidebar was appreciated during the feedback, while stressing upon the importance of a bottom bar in the website design


I wanted to follow Purple color from Craigslist's original logo and move away from the hyperlink blue text. I decided to build a moldboard for design inspiration. I picked the purple color and started working on a comprehensive design system to build my app and website

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Brand Identity

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Final Design

Based off the User Flow, and considering the main purpose of the app, I created sketches of various screens. It seemed like a lot of data and long forms needed to be filled to reach desired results.

Challenges Faced


Improving the website without detracting from the brand

Improving usability while prioritizing important elements

Creating Brand Identity without disassociating with the current system

Thanks for stopping by

Let's Catch up!

Designed & Built by Sanchita Chugh

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