Does Web Site Design Really Matter?
Craigslist.org has been surging in popularity since its inception in 1995. According to the company, there are now 190 Craigslist sites in all 50 U.S. states and 30 other countries, and approximately 10 million users and more than 3 billion page views per month.
However, throughout the years, its simplistic design of blue text and plain gray backdrop has not changed that much. Despite Craigslist’s lack of visual appeal compared to the standard format of most Web sites today, it has not really affected its popularity.
So is the lack of visual appeal what makes it so popular? My guess is no. Craigslist’s popularity probably stems from its user friendliness—meaning Craigslist makes it easy for users to post jobs, real estate and rental listings, meet new people, and more. However, one can’t help but wonder why the Craigslist crew has not boosted its visual appeal while the site has grown in popularity.
Maybe the company’s mentality is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or maybe it doesn’t want to stray away from its original design for fear it will confuse its vast user population. Whether the reasoning behind its simple design is intentional or not intentional, it definitely brings up the question: Does design really matter?
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