Craigslist — Success against all odds

Just a few days ago I read an article in the September edition of Wired magazine, it was actually the cover article, called “The Tragedy of Craigslist”, and is also available online under the name “Why Craigslist is such a mess“.

I was immediatly attracted to this article because, appart from it being the success story of a company whose services I use every now and then, there is something very odd about the usability, design and features of this website.

I know for fact that I use Craigslist, actually whenever I want to buy something used (like when I bought a bicycle to cycle around in my new home, Amsterdam) I check the listings. I seem to return there, but when I think about it, it’s only for very specific things, I don’t really use a big part of the listings.

Anyway, any webmarketeer will tell you that it has potential for more. More usability, more features, more information, more quality, more gadgets on which it could work, etc.

Without investing much in design or usability, the recipee of Craigslist seems to be granting the company the number one position, leaving market competitors far behind.

Craigslist creates new webmarketing rules by not applying the currently most favored and proved ones.

Branding could be one explanation for that.

This is what I feel whenever I enter a Lidl or Aldi supermarket and look at the packaging.

It’s an interesting article, makes you think about a new perspective regarding the future of interactivity and design in commercial contexts.


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