The Simplicity Of Craigslist

I stumbled upon a recent article and enjoyed the intrinsic simplicity behind it as well as some nostalgia. I’ve been around on the web long enough to remember using Craigslist long before Facebook Marketplace was a thing. It’s kind of remarkable that the online classifieds site still exists, works, and looks like it did since the beginning.

From an interview in PCMag:

“For me as an engineer, simple is beautiful. Functional is beautiful.”

-Craig Newmark

Don’t you just love that? “Simple is beautiful.”

Sometimes, a minimal aesthetic is too spartan, boring, or lacking an oft needed distinguishing touch. Other times, such a style looks and works great. By the way, how something both looks and works is the definition of design as Steve Jobs was known to have understood.

If you check out Craigslist today, you’ll find it’s a beautifully simple list or table of links. Sure, it makes sense from an engineering standpoint to be so minimal. But aesthetically, what more is needed? Links look like underlined text; no need to get fancy.

I’m no web designer, but I enjoy tailoring my blog theme over time and giving it a fresh coat of paint. I try to keep it simple, functional, and prefer minimal flourishes — special touches, widgets — that distinguish my site. Having a distinct look to my own website is one of the great advantages over using a social media profile page that looks the same as everybody else’s.

In any case, read the PCMag interview and let me know what you think.

Do you like the simple design of Craigslist? Do you still use the site after all these years?