, 2004, 2020

Is Craigslist 'Modern'?
A countless number of changes have occurred in web and user experience design in the last 20+ years.
But Craigslist's website has made minimal changes ever since release.
In most circumstances, not adapting a website's interface to 'newer designs' and current user needs can cause major usability issues or high bounce rates.
The Plan to Measure Usability
A group of colleagues and I conducted an in-person usability test along with interview sessions at Belk Library, Elon University.
• How do users buy & sell items on Craigslist?
• How do users find jobs using Craigslist?
• How difficult is it for users to navigate the interface for tasks & why?
• Measure user ability to browse the current information architecture
• What is the overall usability for new users?
The Usability Test
Seven (7) participants were divided into the following two groups:
• Has used Craigslist before (2 users)
• Has not used Craigslist (5 users)

Participant Demographics

The participants were given task scenarios to complete. These tasks measured the efficiency of navigation throughout the website. Users were given a survey afterwards to rate the difficulty of each action.
Measured variables:
• Completion Time
• Difficulty Rating

User Tasks & Survey

The Results
Scenario 1 Results
Scenario 1 Results
Scenario 2 Results
Scenario 2 Results
Scenario 3 Results
Scenario 3 Results
Scenario 4 Results
Scenario 4 Results
Design Discussion
1) Offer an easier and more efficient way to switch between cities
Switching to 'nearby' cities is visible on the sidebar but to manually type in a specific city, users must click on the city name and key it in the search bar. This is a 'hidden' function that may not be intuitive to users, as there is no indication for it.
To view a map of the world and every major city in the U.S., there is another hidden page where you have to click on the Craigslist logo. This brings you to an 'About' section of the areas available within the world.
Although most browsers can detect your current location, it requires cookies to be enabled and is not always accurate. This is also a problem for users visiting through proxies and VPNs to hide their digital identity and browse privately.

2) Add direct categories when searching for something specific
When using the search bar, Craigslist will mark 30-50+ filters for categories of what your keywords could match. This algorithmic search method seems inefficient in today's modern standards.

3) Allow users to search for their city on the homepage
As mentioned previously, within the 'hidden' map section of Craigslist's website, users must scroll on a large list categorized by state to find their city. This could be a major strain on cognitive load, in which the hassle could be decreased significantly if users could manually type in their city.
• Credibility could be added to reinforce these results, given A/B tests were performed measuring the efficiency of other marketplace websites.
• Craigslist's mobile browser was not tested. This test was performed strictly on web PC/Mac desktop devices.
• Craigslist's iOS & Android applications were not tested.
• Participant demographics mostly included young adults, who may not have experience with older web systems.

Hey! Check out more of my research projects, I insist! 😊

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