Yes, the Craigslist site is ugly. It will never win any design awards. Phrases like eye sore come to mind when looking at it. Many a designer has offered up thoughts on how to improve it by presenting a redesign, some of which are truly beautiful. However I think the existing Craigslist design is perfectly fine for what Craigslist the site is and I’ll explain why in this post.
One of the discussions that arises from time to time in web development circles is that of validating your code. Some will insist your pages need to validate 100% and others will tell you it’s not even worth checking as long as your pages work. Will people care if your pages don’t validate? Will search engines care? How important is code validation?
Something I’ve been thinking about recently is the nature of creativity and productivity. Both are important to any freelance web designer and yet both are often at odds with each other. Is one more important than the other to our success? How can we work toward improving both and knowing when one should take precedence over the other?
In one second the user should understand generally where they are
—largely driven by visuals and functionality.
If we can keep people for 10 seconds, they should understand our primary message.
If they stay for two minutes, some secondary messages should be getting through.
All this feeds into a call to action.
Journalists use the inverted pyramid style of writing to quickly convey the most important information of a story to readers. It works because no matter how far into an article someone reads the most important information gets through.
A good design begins with a good design concept. You’re trying to solve a problem and your concept will lead the way and give you direction for your design decisions. How do you form a concept? What questions do you need to ask in order to develop one? How does your concept become the roadmap for your design?