I studied the evolution of Airbnb over the years from UX Timeline. I will list my findings in this blog.
Airbnb, Inc. is an American company that operates an online marketplace for lodging, primarily homestays for vacation rentals, and tourism activities. It was founded in August 2008, in San Francisco, California, United States. Wikipedia
What are some noticeable changes throughout the years?
- Airbnb’s logo changed simultaneously from 2008 to 2014.
2. Airbnb’s website improved every year, they made it more usable and enhanced its user experience.
3. Many key features have been added over the years:
A. Post a room (2007)
B. Find a place to stay with check-in and check-out boxes, search bar (2008). Also, it has interactive map navigation
C. Room details with photos, map, street view, calendar, and contact host option (2009).
D. Categories of cities with starting price range. Also, they launched their mobile app (2010).
E. Home details with owner’s image and his/her contact details (2011).
F. Search with filters (2012)
G. Neighbourhood guides (2013)
4. Website becomes more minimalistic with less written text and more pictures.
5. In 2021, Airbnb introduced more things apart from homes like cottages, cabins, treehouses, castles, etc.
Why were these changes made?
Airbnb made these changes to improve the usability of the product. To increase their user retention. They changed their website every year which means they effectively used the iterative nature of the design process. These changes improved the user experience of their product drastically. Hence, increasing their market over the years.
I tried to do a heuristic evaluation, so these 3 points I have found with my understanding:
- The 1st heuristic of Jakob’s Ten Usability Heuristics (Visibility of system status) that says Designs should keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate, timely feedback.
Example: Airbnb used this by providing interactive maps in the website. And the tracking feature of the booking. The booking confirmed message also comes here.
2. The 4th Heuristic (Consistency and standards) says Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.
Example: Airbnb also followed this effectively by placing the search bar at the top in the very center. As users always looks for a search at the top itself. So airbnb folllowed the consistency and standards.
3. The 8th Heuristic (Aesthetic and Minimalistic) says interfaces should not contain information that is irrelevant. Every extra unit of information in an interface competes with the relevant units of information.
Example: Airbnb reduced the written text on the website and made it more easy to use and minimalistic looking.
On Airbnb’s 2021 website, everything is awesome. But If I redesign it I will surely do one thing which is place the categories of homes and everything on the home page itself. So that users get to know at the very first glance of the website what services Airbnb provides. Apart from this, the website and the user experience of Airbnb are awesome!
This is what I have redesigned. I have kept some parts of the website the same.
So that’s all for today. Check out the official website of Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.co.in/
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