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By Kevin Yank

Craigslist: It Doesn’t Have to be Ugly

By Kevin Yank

(via Digg) While Ian Lloyd has chronicled the goings on at SXSW 2006 (day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4), those of us at SitePoint HQ have had to jealously read the headlines from here.

One nugget that I particularly enjoyed was the redesign of craigslist that was undertaken by The Design Fab Five Seven. Having produced a slick, accessible new look for craigslist, the popular and lightweight classifieds site, they presented it to the site’s founder, Craig Newmark, live on stage at SXSW.

Before:
The old design

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After:
The new design

The new design is certainly a huge improvement in both usability and accessibility for the site, the current design of which is entirely layed out using tables with a smattering of embedded CSS. Additionally, the new design seems to be even lighter than the original, weighing in at 19KB (plus 4KB of CSS and a 2KB image–negligible because they’re shared between pages). In contrast, the current craigslist Austin home page (the object of the redesign) weighs in at a whopping 31KB of HTML.

The redesign would regain a bit of weight upon adding proper URLs for all of the links (which in the mockup are all just href="#"), but this could be offset by stripping unnecessary whitespace (the code is, after all, written so that developers can easily learn from it).

Here’s hoping the site takes notice! By adopting this new design (or one produced by similar techniques), the site could not only reach a wider audience through improved accessibility, but it could also cut its bandwidth bills a little.

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