EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3073 - May 27, 2013     3 of 4

Etsy Cites Mobile Visitors for Forum Redesign

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After making major changes to its forums in 2011, Etsy rolled out more changes over the course of the last week. The company said it worked with 700 users for over a month to gather feedback. One of the changes is a larger font, but the improved readability means visitors see less text on the page without scrolling. In addition, some users said the move to a lighter font actually made it more difficult to read.

The redesign is also supposed to improve the experience on mobile devices. "Mobile visits on Etsy grew 244% in the past year, and right now mobile visits represent a steady 25% of visits year round," according to the company.

In response to a user who said she felt she was becoming extinct using a desktop, an Etsy moderator said in part, "Our decision to redesign the Forums is simply a way for us to broaden the types of users we support. It's all in an effort to make the community more engaging, simple to use, and to diversify the people sharing in the Forums! We hope you'll stay around and help us build even better products in the future, and that you adjust to this new design on your desktop."

Etsy also added new thread tags that you can add while creating a thread, explaining, "Thread tags will allow us to surface relevant content for members who come to the Forums looking for specific information."

A user who said she had been on the "prototype" feedback team since the beginning wrote, "At first, I really didn't like (the new design) but now, I can't even remember the old way."

Some others are not as happy, such as the Etsy user who wrote, "I'm really finding the experience of looking for threads of interest to not be of interest, because I don't want to have click into things to find out if they are interesting. The new threads don't have the information I want prior to making that decision to click or not click. The previous format had what I needed, this does not. Everything that has been removed or changed was really a piece of critical information for getting me interested in clicking in. Initially I have tried this change out a lot, but I'm really already feeling pretty bored by it after just having the release to all for just a few days."

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Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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