Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Craig's Wisdom, Craigslist's Success

When I'm asked for an example of a truly UXCentric site, I often point to Craigslist. No fancy graphics, no flashing ad banners—just a sea of categorized links. Its 1.8 billion hits from 7.6 million users in January 2005 alone demonstrate beyond a doubt its success in fulfilling the needs and wishes of users.

Founder Craig Newmark shares some of the values that undergird Craigslist in Why Craigslist Works at remarkable ChangeThis.com. His ideas read like a creed of UXCentricity:
  • A lot of people say that the internet is about technology. For me, it's about people, and people connecting with each other in their day-to-day lives.

  • Craigslist has always been very simple and down-to-earth. We take a common sense, honest approach to running the site and running the company.

  • What we do isn't complicated or fancy, and it feels very real when you're on the website.

  • People are generally trustworthy, and I think in this day [and] age that's something to acknowledge and encourage. We do everything in our power to foster this culture and the goodwill of people on the site.

  • Our users are great at helping each other out and moderating each other, and we give them a lot of responsibility to do that.

  • Unless we listen to our community very carefully, they'll find another site that works better for them... Everyone has a voice on the site, and we listen to them all equally, which seems to be the most democratic approach
Craigslist is a vivid illustration of the values and power of UXCentricity.

UPDATE (February 10): Check this message from Craig to see how he puts his values into action. He takes decisions right to his users. (via Poynter Online's E-Media Tidbits)


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