If you’ve used Craigslist, you know how spartan the website is. Craigslist is a great way to buy and sell items, but the site’s lack of features makes for a poor browsing and shopping experience. Enter Craiggers.com. Craiggers is an alternate interface for Craigslist, displaying the same data in an easier and more controllable way.
When you search for something on Craigslist you get a list of titles and a notification if there is a picture in the posting. You’re limited to searching within a category. Browsing through posts requires lots of clicking and repeatedly clicking the back button on your browser.
With Craiggers your initial search asks for three things, all optional. A search term, a category to search in, and a location to search. If you have a browser with location awareness, it can input the location for you. Hit search and the results window is broken into three columns. The left column has settings for sorting and filtering; the middle column lists the post titles matching your search, and the right column shows the content of the post you selected from the middle column. It’s very well-organized and intuitive to use.
Have a search you repeat often? If you login to Craiggers using your Facebook, Twitter or Google ID, you can save a search and access it quickly. See something you’d like to come back to later? Click it as a “favorite” and it’s easy to find it again. Only want to search for items that have pictures? There’s a check-box for that.
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Meg Nakamura, product manager for Craiggers, says the main goal of Craiggers is to “provide users with all the functionality you wish you had on Craigslist.” Influenced by search-oriented sites such as Twitter, Kayak and Google, Nakamura and her team have tried to streamline as much of the Craigslist navigation as possible, empowering the user to "work" within the results view.
“My goal was to build a tool to allow users to make better and faster decisions than on Craigslist,” Nakamura said. “The Twitter-like navigation helps users scroll results faster. The Kayak-like filtering helps users narrow search results better, and the Google-like simplicity helps users not get bogged down in the design.”
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Moving forward, one of the next goals for Craiggers is to "socialize" Craigslist with commenting capability and real-time conversations. Imagine being able to leave a comment on a Craigslist posting letting everyone know you viewed the item and it is not as described, or being able to ask the seller a question without using email. Craigslist is a great resource, but Craiggers shows it can be improved in many ways.