Joanna Goebel

Schtuff: A College Kid's Craiglist

A quick, easy commerce option for USC students

Design Lead, 2015

Brief

Schtuff was created to function as a platform for USC students to buy and sell from other students.

Students may search directly for particular items, browse, create a personalized account, and conveniently contact other student sellers. The target audience is USC students who live on or near campus. As opposed to a popular "Free & For Sale" Facebook page, Schtuff gives the user more control over viewing experience. I was the design lead.

Deliverables

Research, User Testing, Branding, Website

Tools

Axure
Illustrator
PHP

The Problem

College students need a quick, safe, convenient way to sell their excess items, or find great bargains on used college supplies, all the while interacting exclusively with their campus community.

Competitor Frustration

Competitors

(and why they're annoying for students to use)
  • Craigslist: Misleading posts and ads; safety concerns (who's selling it?); location issues (how close to campus?)
  • Ebay: Auctioning process, Same security/convenience issues as Craiglist.
  • Facebook Free & For Sale: Long list of posts; cannot search for information; advertisements/ subleasing propaganda;

The Solution

A safe, convenient and college-exclusive desktop application for college students.

illustration

Implementation

After our team built up a rough prototype using Axure Software, we spent an extensive portion of the semester on User Testing. We constructed Scenarios (such as buying an item and selling an item.) As we tested our subjects, we tracked their eyes to see how intuitive various aspects of our website were.

Requirements

Data:

  • User Profile
  • Search Bar
  • Comment Section
  • Messaging System
  • Browse Page

Functional:

  • Buy item
  • Sell item
  • Search based on category
  • Write comments/bid on items
  • Send message

Business:

  • Cost of Development
  • USC login permission

Personas

Placeholder

Primary Persona: Mark Chen

  • Asian male, 20 years old
  • Goals: Save money, start his own business one day
  • Mark is an undergraduate college student studying engineering. He lives in an apartment with his 3 best friends. He is from the East coast so he can never bring too much from home, which is why he usually buys more than he sells. He likes to develop relationships with people and prefers to buy from people he feels like he knows



Placeholder

Secondary Persona: Elizabeth Park

  • White female, 21 years old
  • Goals: Work for a PR firm, have a dog
  • Elizabeth is an undergraduate college student studying Public Relations. She lives in a sorority house with 6 other girls. Because of this, she has to always stay organized and sells more than she buys. She gets rid of things once she no longer needs them.

Typography & Color Palette

HEX #f8d169
RGB 248, 209, 105
CMYK 0, 16, 58, 3

HEX #a4001d
RGB 164, 0, 29
CMYK 0, 100, 82, 36

HEX #005a8e
RGB 0, 90, 142
CMYK 100, 37, 0, 44

HEX #b6b8ba
RGB 182, 184, 186
CMYK 2, 1, 0, 27

HEX #f8b632
RGB 248, 182, 50
CMYK 0, 27, 80, 3

Styleguide
Identifying the Elements
Scenario Functional Needs Functional Elements
Elizabeth takes a picture of her tank top. She uploads the photo to Schtuff.com. She fills in a description of the item with her asking price and posts it for sale.
  1. Upload user photos.
  2. Fill in item information.
  3. Put item up for sale.
Display of uploaded item. Module to set up price and description for seller. Not included: display of individual item, area of available items (search results), display of favorites, area to type in message to other user
Mark goes to the home page of Schtuff.com. He wants to see what kinds of lamps are available so he types "lamps" in the search bar. He sees a lamp he likes with a reasonable price so he clicks on the item and goes to its page.
  1. Search for specific item.
  2. Browse available options.
  3. See individual item page.
Area to type in search terms. Visual feedback for available items. Display of individual item. Not included: area to put item up for sale, display of favorites, area to type in message to other user

Initial Wireframes

Primary Screens

Initial Wireframe Post Item

Scenario Storyboards

  • Scenario 1: Elizabeth sells
    1. Elizabeth wants to sell a tank top. She has been referred to Schtuff.com and visits the landing page. She seems the "Sell Item" button clearly emboldened on the nav.
    2. The next page quickly and efficiently walks her through the sale process. She fills in all required fields, takes a quick photos of her item with her iPhone, and hits submit.
    3. Success! Elizabeth's item is posted and she will start receiving bids from other users. She can take down her ad at any time.
  • Scenario 2: Mark buys
    1. Mark wants to find new furniture for his apartment. The "Free and For Sale" Facebook page isn't cutting it and he needs better lighting for his occasional all-nighter. The white, blaring overhead lights are just too much at 2am. He types "lamps" into the search bar.
    2. Mark looks through the results and finds one he likes. Now there are no more "suggested" results like the "Most popular" and "recently posted" boxes on the home page. Mark knows what he is looking for, so he doesn't need to browse general items.
    3. He clicks on the image of the item he is interested in to learn more information.
    4. Mark decides that this is what he wants, so he clicks on the "message seller" button to arrange pick-up. This page eliminates the display of available items from the search results page, since Mark has shown interest in this specific item.

Build

Design – database development and website construction
Advertising – posters/fliers, anything to get students involved, social networking

Usability Testing

Interview Summary

  • Sample Size: 10 people
  • Demographics
  • Age: 18-24 years old
  • Gender: half interviewees female, half male
  • Race: White, Asian, Latina, Black
  • Occupation: College student

The interviewees were evenly split between males and females and were all young, 20ish college students. While the race of the interviewees varied, the most common race was Asian (5) and the second most common race was Caucasian (2). Almost all of the interviewees who use online marketplaces / platforms are casual buyers or sellers; they only buy or sell certain things at certain times. Most did not like to waste and tried not to throw things away, either hoarding them or giving them away. A decent number of the interviewees were not comfortable with safety and reliability of large platforms like Ebay and Craigslist.


  • Interview Questions
    1. Have you ever used a platform to buy or sell directly to/from other people?
    2. Describe what you liked and disliked about using that platform.
    3. Which products do you most commonly search for/sell?
    4. What are your safety concerns when you use online marketplaces like Craigslist and Ebay?
    5. If you are going to buy a product NOT from a well-known seller, how much are you willing to pay
    6. Do you tend to hold onto things over time or do you toss things you don’t need?
    7. Have you ever had to throw away things at the end of the year, because no one would take them or you didn’t have the storage space for them?
Overall Findings

It's always extremely valuable to find out the sore spots of your product. Most of the tasks were completed very quickly, without much thought. Users found the website to be very straightforward and simple. We realized that a few of our users were confused about the need for a user profile. 10% of users complained that there was too much text on some pages. Some users hesitated when they were required to select the area of campus where they live.

Outcome

This website was never formally launched as my team and I were all graduating from USC and would not be able to maintain the site.

I'm Joanna Goebel, a freelance web and graphic designer based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Get in Touch!

[email protected]
Based in Memphis, Tennessee

©Joanna Goebel 2019. All rights reserved.