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Airbnb Journals

Project Summary

I designed a mobile feature add-on to empower travelers through collaboration to document, organize, and share their travel experiences

Timeline

April 2020
48 Hour Design Hackathon

Client

Airbnb

My Role + Team

Product Designer
Co-designed with Brandon Lal, Isabelle Soares and Nikita Tauro

Tools

AdobeXD, Adobe Illustrator

Roles & Responsibilities

Product Strategy, User Research, Interface Design, Prototyping

Defining The Problem

As the world's largest home-sharing company, Airbnb has seen stay bookings drop 85%. How can we design today to inspire the travelers of a post-pandemic tomorrow?

Opportunity
Airbnb Journals wants to inspire travelers to plan their next great adventure with their friends

Users are currently stuck at home due to the COVID-19 crisis, but as restrictions are gradually lifted, Airbnb wants to empower their members to create new memories with shared travel experiences as they go back to booking stays.

Product Preview

Discover New Experiences

Discover fun activities, receive personalized recommendations, and get useful tips from past guests who stayed in your neighbourhood

Experience Together

Post stories, share updates, and plan fun itineraries of activities with your travel party

Create and Share

Earn badges, win challenges, create new memories, and share your trip highlights to inspire other travelers

Design Process
& Strategy

User Research

Identifying Our Audience

Our target audience are Airbnb members who enjoy traveling in groups. We created this user persona to guide our design process.

With a 48 hour timeframe, we had to move quickly and limit our research process. Our strategy and design process are based on a combination of background research, online literature, and brief surveys with a handful of Airbnb users.

WINNIPEG, Canada
Jason (he/him), 43 years old

Jason likes trying new things. He traveled a lot during his college years, but had to cut down travel as his family and career grew over the years.

Traveling with the whole family, he still loves trying new experiences, but he finds it difficult to plan trips and activities that everyone can enjoy.

Jason uses Airbnb Journals to help him find unique stays and activities to get the most out of his trips. He and his family plan out their trip together, get suggestions on the go, and share their adventures.

Defining The Goal

How can we provide tools that reduce booking anxieties by encouraging members and helping them preview and plan trips?

Framing The Solution
Where Is Where?

To identify issues around vacation and recreational bookings, we began by analyzing trips across a wide range of durations and purposes. The existing process lacked a clear intervention assisting users in macro location selection.

The current Airbnb search process implemented a broad, city-wide search showing available stays with a standard series of applicable filters, but lacked additional context to help users create an informed city area selection.

User Research

Observing Patterns & Identifying Insights

To better understand where Airbnb members currently struggled while booking stays, I explored how members approached the trip planning process. I looked into how people search for travel locations online, find recommendations and reviews to evaluate their own interests, and get a better sense of the destination and its surroundings.

I observed a pattern where people explored broadly during the earlier stages of their travel planning, seeking inspiration and excitement from a large variety of resources. Later on, they narrowed down to trip locations based on external factors such as affordability and stay duration. 

This approach shifted focus from the trip itself and its subsequent experiences, leaving precise planning to be done later on in the booking stage. By taking the stay, which naturally determines the area where travelers would spend a large portion of their trip, into consideration during the initial decision making process, members could make better informed trip choices.

IDeating A Solution

Explore, Experience and Share

My teammate and I broke down our design solution into three fundamental phases: Explore, Experience, and Share

Explore
Gain A Deeper View

How can the user make an informed decision when selecting their stay with Airbnb? The solution needed to give travelers a deeper view into the surrounding areas and activities around their stay. This would help them to make better informed decisions.

Experience
Create And Experience Together

How could we create a shared experience for travelers in the same party? We chose to provide flexible features that helped the entire party travel together, but also allow each member to stay updated on each other's individual adventures when apart.

Share
Pass On The Experience

How can we motivate travelers to create fun content to share with their friends, family, and future travelers? We chose to build features around shareability, encouraging users to share highlights, tips, and other information to future travelers who might visit the same area.

Design Decisions

Leveraging Airbnb's Existing Networks And Infrastructure

With Airbnb's global network and reach, I identified an opportunity to improve the existing infrastructure to appeal to the same members during trip planning by taking a more destination-focused approach.

While our design solution had potential in guiding members through the trip planning process with an experience-first approach, it lacked the appropriate touchpoints to position it earlier on in the current journey process.

To avoid overcomplicating existing Airbnb channels, we focused on integrating the feature into the current Airbnb stay experience through new proactive engagement features that help improve trip quality.

This approach aligned with Airbnb's active interests and initiatives, such as Airbnb Experiences, which aimed at further transforming Airbnb stays from simple housing rentals into more dynamic, enriching travel experiences.

How Airbnb Journals Works

Discover New Experiences

Airbnb Journals lets travelers discover fun activities, personalized recommendations, and useful tips from past guests in your area

Experience Together

Travelers in the same party can access booking details, share locations, post stories, and get updates on each other's activities

Share your adventures

Travelers can earn badges, complete challenges, and create interactive records of their adventures to revisit and share

Key Metrics

Measuring Success

The primary goal was to provide Airbnb members with tools that can help enhance their trip planning experience and get the most out of their trips. In order to review the success of the solution, we defined important measurable factors.

Defined Success Metrics
Airbnb Bookings

What is the growth rate of Airbnb bookings in areas where previous travelers have used and shared their experience through Journals?

Airbnb App Analytics

How are travelers interacting with Journals content on stay listings? How are they learning about the areas they book in?

Airbnb Experience Interactions

What is the growth rate of local activity bookings through Airbnb Experiences? How are travelers engaging in creating Journals content during these experiences?

Reflection

Key Takeaways

Moving Fast, Staying Focused

It was a difficult challenge to explore product strategy, conduct research and identify key insights within the tight 48 hour timeframe provided.

This fast-paced challenge gave me new insights on working together effectively in a diversely skilled team. By staying focused on the user, I was able to stay focused and design rapidly within such an incredibly short time.

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