Along with other features, our developers are also working on integrating a feature that will allow users to post ads in a single step. We keep seeing other classifieds portals following the trend of merging several stages of posting ads into one step. We believe that there is potential behind this feature and that some of our users may find it useful while others will prefer their users to post ads in several steps. In this short post, we’ll not be taking sides saying that single step is better than multi-step listing or vice versa, rather, we’ll try to look into the issue from a user’s perspective and find out why some users prefer it.
One step vs multi-step listing
It might be controversial for some webmasters who are used to structuring the process of posting ads into several logical steps, that is, a user first selects an appropriate category, then a listing package, fills in listing description, adds pictures and video and finally posts his ad. Each of the step requires a user to click the ‘Next’ button to navigate through the steps. There is nothing wrong with this procedure and major classifieds portals are still using it. Although some others, like OLX, offer their users to post ads in one step. Let us speculate what pros and cons this may bring to webmasters.
Does one step mean less time?
While some users may think that adding a listing in one step takes less time, we believe that it is not quite so. Let us compare and contrast one and multi-step process. Both options are similar because users add virtually the same information with the only difference that during the one step process, users have to click fewer ‘Next’ buttons. The question is – does that dramatically save a user time if he adds all the listing info on one page without having to refresh it to navigate to the next step? Probably not, and even if it does, it’ll take fractions of seconds, which should not be taken into account.
Why some webmasters choose one step?
If there’s no noticeable difference in time between adding a listing in one or several steps, the question remains – why do some users prefer to add listings in one step and some classifieds portals are offering this option. It may well be a physiological issue and time-management experts claim that people tend to be more productive when they have to complete one big project rather than several minor ones. If we apply this to classifieds sites, we may safely assume that users approach a one-step task more willingly, and therefore are more focused on completing it. Conversely, when users see a progress bar consisting of several minor steps, they may view these steps as several minor, less important tasks, and as a result may be less serious about going through all of them. Mind you, we are only discussing the options, since there is no research to back up the above statements, we may only predict user behavior patterns but we’re in no way forcing an idea that one step is more effective.
Is it really possible to add a listing in one step?
Basically, adding listings in a single step is nothing more than merging several steps into one, and rather than clicking the ‘Next’ button, users will scroll the page to navigate to the next step. It is possible to add a listing in one step by selecting an appropriate category, filling in a description, uploading media all on one page. However, if a user has selected a paid package then there will be a second step, in which a user will need to pay for the selected package. Other than that, users will be able to post their ads in a single step.
We are now working on this feature and there will be more news along the way. We believe that some webmasters fill find it useful and we also believe that we need to add trendy features to our script to make it as versatile as possible – posting ads in one step is one of such features.