Couchsurfers celebrate website reupholstering

Couchsurfers are cheering after the site gets a much-needed redesign.


Chase Hoffberger


Published Mar 29, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:18 pm CDT

CouchSurfing, the site that helps you find a couch to crash on anywhere in the world, just got a whole lot cozier. The company introduced a new navigational toolbar Tuesday night, replacing a design had been in place since 2009.

The new design focuses on four major components of the CouchSurfing community: surfing, hosting, local activity planning, and group discussions. Unlike the previous toolbar, which used drop bars to show members all of their on-site options, this design is geared towards immediately moving community members into new places.

“We’ve simplified the first layer of navigation down to the main actions that you want to take when you use CouchSurfing,” senior communications manager Meredith Hutcheson wrote last week in a blog post announcing the change. “By making them more visible, we think that it will become much more intuitive to get to where you’re going faster.”

The design is a welcome change for the CouchSurfing community.

When we interviewed CouchSurfers for a story earlier this month, two community members—Arkansas resident Jake Coffey and Los Angeles-based surfer Tom Dibblee— expressed displeasure with the site’s navigational fluidity. In both cases, the site’s design inadequacies cut in to their time on the site.

As Dibblee said in February: “If it were actually functional and designed as well as Facebook, CouchSurfing would easily be my number one social networking site.”

Not everybody is thrilled with the site’s new look.

“Looks good! But as with every change some information went missing,” noted community member Maria in the launch announcement’s comment section.

The prevailing sentiment, however: all change is good change when it comes to the CouchSurfing site.

“I think I can finally hold down my lunch when I look at the homepage,” beforethecubicle wrote. “Good work!”

Image by dospaz

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*First Published: Mar 29, 2012, 1:26 pm CDT