jessica fung

I solve problems by designing seamless user experiences.
Currently @ Chase.

My Role
UX Designer + Prototyper

Project Type
Chatbot, Redesign
4 days | February 2017

I created a better shopping experience for students who want to buy furniture on Craigslist.

I read about chatbots in 2017 UX trends and wanted to experiment with designing one.


Students Feel Unsafe Using Craigslist

User interviews revealed three major pain points.


Anonymity makes it scary for students to meet with a stranger. Students also feel the item received is low quality.


Unclear communication with the seller over emails and phone is slow. There is a lot of information to confirm.


Reliably searching on the UI is difficult when there are so many posts to look through.

Introducing: Reputation, the Craigslist Chatbot, and Context-Based Filtering

Filtering the search helps the student narrow down to the item they want. The friendly in-app chatbot then helps to coordinate communication between buyer and seller while removing the anxiety and stress of speaking with a stranger.

After the exchange, the buyer and seller are able to rate the interaction, providing each other reputation data for future buyers and sellers to view.


Meet Sally Madison

Sally was created from user interview findings.

- Sophomore at NYU who is furnishing her first apartment
- Looking for a small, cheap couch that is nearby
- Her friend, John, has a car and has offered to help her move the couch and keep her company

How It Works

The biggest change in this redesign is the chatbot, which acts as a friendly personality that facilitates communication between buyer and seller.


Sally logs into Craigslist with her phone number and a code sent to her phone.

This create an account for her and provides security. A fake phone number is difficult to create.

Landing Page

The initial screen keeps the simple, minimal nature of Craigslist.

This redesign was built as a mobile application since students are always on the go.


User research showed that students find it a hassle to go to the ATM, withdraw cash, and carry this cash with them to the meeting with their seller

Now, students can add debit/credit cards to use as payment for transactions.

Context-Based Filtering

Sally searches for a couch. The initial results show prices that are far out of her budget.

Context-based filtering allows Sally to find a couch fitting her requirements and price point. Here, something like seating capacity matters, but it is not a filter she would expect to see she were searching for a treadmill.

View Results

As Sally browses the filtered results, she compares images, descriptions, prices, and seller ratings.

Sally decides to buy a couch from Jason because he seems like a reliable seller and the couch meets her requirements.

Chatbot Communication

The chatbot ensures that Sally doesn't have to deal with the anxiety of speaking with a stranger. Craigslist acts as a medium between the buyer and seller.

Sally easily arranges meeting time, payment method, and transportation method with Jason.

Reminder Notifications

Notifications remind both Sally and Jason of the meeting, and the real-life interaction begins. Sally inspects the couch and decides to take it.

Confirm Transaction

Sally receives a notification asking if the transaction is complete. She selects YES, which sends notification to Jason asking for a confirmation of payment.

When Jason selects YES, his listing is removed from the Craigslist search results in order to prevent future buyers from contacting about a couch that has already been sold.

Reputation In the Community

Sally and Jason rate the experience with each other in order to help build each other's reputation in the Craigslist community.

Research + Design Process

Anonymity Is a Double-Edged Sword

Craigslist has a strong brand as an anonymous marketplace for local sales.

Compared to competitors in online shopping and local interactions, Craigslist lags in the trust category.

User research revealed that anonymity gives users comfort in having the ability to hide themselves, but it creates fear since they don't know anything about other users.


Brainstorming Solutions To Pain Points

Using an affinity diagram, I grouped my findings into the three categories of anonymity and trust, communication, and filtering.

I asked students for feedback in order to determine the best solution for a redesigned Craigslist.


Visual Design

Craigslist emerged in 1995, with the look and feel designed to mimic newspaper classifieds, but the reality is not many read newspapers today. I retained Craiglist's renown minimalism, but decided to modernize by focusing my redesign on creating a mobile app since students are always on-the-go with their phones in hand.

Future Work

Testing and Seller Interface

If I had more time to work on this redesign concept, I would like to test my design with users in order to see how to better improve.

Because the challenge asked specifically about the student-buyer experience, I focused on that aspect. However, Craigslist is a two-way marketplace, so I would like to flesh out the seller screens, as well as show how the desktop application would appear.