Published: May 23, 2014 Last updated: Apr 8, 2022 Yan Kulakov

"Design adds value faster than it adds costs."
— this phrase has become famous because of Joel Spolsky, web programmer, writer, and creator of Trello

Nothing is as attractive as beauty. It catches our eye and makes us pay attention to all its vivid details. Not for nothing Joel Splolsky has identified a design as a driving force. Design can transfer product’s properties unobtrusively and discreetly. Indeed, it is an indispensable tool of marketing.

Design does matter. Well designed things stand out in the crowd of mediocre ones. The significance of design is often underestimated, though. In this article we will try to find out why it is so important to create outstanding design and what are the criteria of the best marketplace website design.

Why is a brilliant presentation so important?

Stanford University researchers claimed that 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design.

Design is crucial in business but what are the reasons? There is a set of them and they refer to a different spheres, they have psychological and practical meanings.

  1. Right first impression. You can never make a second first impression. People decide whether they like the appearance of a picture or web site in the first 3 seconds and it is important to catch their attention in this fleeting moment. Unpretty presence leaves no chance for retention of a potential client.
  2. Image formation. A website “wrapper" shows values of the company. The appearance can tell the audience what is important for the company, what they appreciate in their partners and how they work. This attracts the right audience.
  3. Trust between seller and buyer. Unpleasant websites do not give the clients a sense of trust. For sure a true trust is a matter of experience and time. However, when contacting for the first time the only thing that people have to judge by is a website design. Credibility for the first order is based on the first esteem.
  4. Competitiveness on the market. Remember that other companies are developing and introducing mainstream designs. To keep up with them, business leaders should be attentive to the trends
  5. Design for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Not only is marketplace web design a means of psychological influence but also a part of marketing strategy. The structure of design has an effect on the way your website is indexed and searched. Some elements can influence the SEO directly, so this part should be well-planned and obligatory introduced.

What are the indications of a perfect marketplace web design?

What is considered bad and what is good? Some people hold the view that design is a subjective perspective of beauty. Yet there is a number of principles how the design can be estimated and applied for marketplace web design:

  1. Innovative. This criteria is highlined by many experienced designers. It should not be something fundamentally different but distinctive in its niche.
  2. User-friendly. The form or appearance of a product should not confuse the user. Moreover, it is design that should suggest how to use a product.
  3. Unobtrusive. People facing an overabundance of little details, functions and additional features feel irritated and annoyed. The design should be as simple as possible.
  4. Technically complete. A marketplace should not only be good-looking but also fast and well-considered. It means that it should load quickly.
  5. Aesthetic. Finally, this is the only point that can be judged subjectively. Nevertheless, most people should deem it appealing. But how can we understand what is appealing for people? Our perception is always unnoticeably changing according to trends and mainstreams. So, let's turn to current trends and find key principles of our times.

The laboratory of trends. Where is it?

“Trend" is a way of thinking, behaving or doing something with growing popularity among people; it is an evolution from “a bit weird and not common" to “ weird but beautiful and desired".

Previously the world of fashion belonged to a privileged group of people. Nowadays we are mostly beholden to social media for spreading new ideas. This fact converges the majority of people and fashion. A modern person does not want to stay aloof, they desire to belong to a group of like-minded people and social media gives us this opportunity. There is also a phenomenon called in psychology “Fear of missing out" which means that people are anxious about being out of trend. Outsiders are not a trend anymore.

The innovators in this sphere may pass unnoticed to the mass of people. Yet we can see the final result of their work. The celebrities, little brands and users themselves have become ambassadors of these ideas. They are not one or two certain people or fashion houses. Today's laboratory of trends is a combination of innovators and users. Never before was society as sophisticated as today. It serves as a filter and as a huge instrument of denying, managing and spreading ideas. The result of their work can be measured and monitored. The visible effect is trends.

Trends in marketplace web design 2022

Trends are volatile. They are changing year by year. A thing or a principle that was modern recently tomorrow will be treated as old-fashioned. It can be noticed clearly in the sphere of technologies.


There are some distinct tendencies in styles which permeate all spheres including marketplace website design.

  1. Minimalism. The best phrase which describes this style is “the less, the better". This trend stayed on the top for the last few years and it does not seem that it will decrease soon.

  2. Organic. It includes natural colors, items and patterns. There has been a shift towards eco-friendly production. Many brands that had not been related to natural products started to use organic materials to follow this trend due to attracting new customers, in some cases this has become a part of their image.

  3. Geometric. Straight lines, clear figures. It is about geometric style. This might represent the character of a company as a reliable one.

  4. Futuristic. These companies are looking forward; there are no limits for them. Bright colors, futuristic machines, and neon are the main features of this style.

  5. Retro. Retrospective design as a nostalgic glance into times. It is interesting that retro style includes times from the 40s to 2000s.


Colors are established according to the main styles. Fashion industry has an influence here as well. They can establish colors, for instance.

Evergreen Fogs was announced the color of the year 2022


  1. Pastel and muted colors. Pastel tones have been used for the last few years and they are still in fashion. However, today they are being gradually replaced by muted tones in retro and organic styles.


  2. Bright neon and holographic colors. Futuristic and geometric styles are often combined with bright colors. Also there are some other developing styles which are usually used with such colors.


Where to find inspiration?

Today having a good-looking marketplace is not just a desirable option but a need. Only a few people have a natural instinct for aesthetics, fortunately, a taste for beauty can be developed. There are some sources where you can draw inspiration.

  1. Pinterest —a photo stock with a great number of design and photo examples of different topics. Pinterest offers an impressive gallery of pictures. You can also sort them and save on the platform.
  2. Behance —another photo stock that deserves your attention. As well as Pinterest it is socially connected and there you can find first-hand ideas from all over the world. There are also some nice configurations to filter photos.
  3. CS-Cart Multi-Vendor —the examples of marketplaces can be found on pages of developers. On this website you can find the biggest portfolio among developer companies.
  4. Web Creme —the specific characteristic of this website is that it shows not only pictures but also links to displayed websites. Web Creme is user-friendly, since it has no other purpose except showing the site examples.
  5. Best website gallery —there you can find a portfolio with excellent examples of websites. It also has a filter so that users can find what they really need. It offers only high-quality design for your inspiration.
  6. Web design inspiration —this website has a massive catalog which can be filtered by various criteria such as niche, style, type, and etc.

The orientation towards the works from these websites might become a game-changer and the great helpers in creating your best marketplace web design.

Programming in online marketplace design

We are talking about design in a web environment and it definitely will be linked with programming. Web design is a mixture of several skills: a web designer should know standardized code, basics of graphic design and search engine optimization. Briefly, a web designer has the skills of a web programmer and graphic designer.

Any website and marketplace as well is consisted of two parts client-side and server-side languages and includes database technologies:

Client-side code:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScrip
  • Ajax

Server-side code:

  • PHP
  • C#
  • Python
  • Ruby


  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Oracle Database
  • SQLite

Web design is a client-side development. CSS and HTML are usually responsible for architecture and external appearance of a website. Looking into them more specifically, CSS is responsible for styles and how a web site will look like: colors, forms, fonts, position of pictures and items. All websites have similar structure, so the core of the code is repeated from one website to another. So, developers decided to define the repeated blocks and items, write the standardised parts and merge them into frameworks to speed up the development process. CSS frameworks consist of a number of stylesheets: buttons, layouts, fonts, and etc. It is a ready-to-use set for developers.

The top 5 popular CSS frameworks are:

  1. Bootstrap—the most popular CSS framework with a huge community. So, there will be no problems with getting information about how it works. It is famous for its responsive design and a massive library of elements. It is also user-friendly in other words it is easy to learn. However, it is so popular that some web pages with Bootstrap wrapping look very similar and it is difficult to rewrite the code given.
  2. Tailwind CSS—this platform was not adopted easily by the developer community. After minimalistic Bootstrap syntax Tailwind’s syntax looked too overstuffed. But it has the possibility to change the code effortlessly to create a unique design. They follow a mobile-first approach, but every utility can be applied.
  3. Bulma—CSS framework which can be integrated with popular PHP framework Laravel. Apart from this reason of popularity, it has some other advantages such as the fact that it is responsive and has an open code.
  4. Ulkit—this framework is perfect for minimalistic and elegant designs. But the range of features of this framework cannot be called minimalistic. It has all elements to make the web site attractive. As in Bootstrap, code changing is a tedious process.
  5. Foundation—the last but not the least framework. It is the one that is usually compared with Bootstrap. Unlike Bootstrap and Ulkit, it has great flexibility. But it might be more difficult to use and learn for the first time.

Specialist’s opinion about web design

Andrey Voronin, frontend developer CS-Cart

Andrey is a web designer in CS-Cart who started his career path when this profession was named webmaster. Webmaster should do the entire service from creating website appearance to writing code. He started from doing freelance projects and then came to the company.

He gave some tips on how to create the best marketplace website design and find a key to success. Andrey prefers simple website architecture so that users have no problems with understanding the logic of the site. For the first time he trained his taste by searching for interesting ideas and now he is a professional in his sphere. He recommended a platform for designers Dribbble to develop a taste. He also said that there are so many good examples on the Internet so it is even better practice to analyze the design of popular marketplaces, online stores, and other CMS.

In this article a question about good and bad design was raised. Andrey shared his thoughts about this issue:

“Firstly, you should define the purpose of the web page. Disposable landings for a newsworthy event can be full of little details, animation and colors. The aim of it is to attract the attention of the audience. But such design is definitely not appropriate to a utilitarian website. This page should be useful and simple. Young specialists often forget about the purpose of the page and suggest irrelevant designs."

Andrey says that designers should think from the user’s point of view and in the first place make it convenient for them. Andrey believes that design will be adapting more and more for people’s preferences.

To conclude

With the growing popularity of online shopping, marketplaces have become demanded as never before. To stay on the top and be competitive among other businesses, a website should look very appealing.

Online marketplace design is a mixture of various factors. Best marketplace design does not exist at all as each website serves for certain purposes, so design can vary. The major requirements are functionality and user orientation. Design can serve as a means to support the image and attract new customers.

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