Craiggers Can Simplify Craigslist Shopping | MSNBC. (No longer available online. Original text included below.)
If you’ve used Craigslist, you know how spartan the website is. Craigslist’s is a great way to buy and sell items, but it’s lack of features make the browsing/shopping experience poor. Enter Craiggers.com. Craiggers is an alternate interface for Craigslist, displaying the same data in an easier and more controllable way.
If 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 backing up a page.
So why use Craiggers.com over the traditional Craigslist.com site?
- It searches the entire United States and Canada with one query (and of course at the state levels as well)
- It searches all categories with one query
- It offers the ability to save searches
- It supports email notifications
- It allows you to save and mark favorite postings
- It has efficient filtering
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.
Craiggers is a “proof-of-concept” product by 3taps, who makes exchange data (postings from sites like craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Indeed, etc.) available to developers. Run by three people, a front-end developer, user experience tester, and a product manager, Craiggers is meant to be a “disruptive” way to show developers what is possible with 3taps APIs, as well as a way to test and stress the APIs.
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 like Twitter, Kayak, and Google, they’ve 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. 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,” said Nakamura.
Moving forward, one of the next goals for Craiggers is to “socialize” Craigslist with commenting 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. Give it a try and you’ll find it difficult to return to Craigslist.com!