I was hired by Holografik to work on Airbnb’s host and guest on-boarding flow. Being that Airbnb is a well-established company with a ton of research behind their user engagement, we were able to make hyper calculated design decisions. This was a huge step for me. Up until this point, I had only worked on projects that I was able to offer my recommendation based on best practices, past experiences, and small focus group feedback. Airbnb was different. We had quantifiable data that we could used to inform our product design choices.
During this time, data showed that hosts favored guests with photos over guests without, which resulted in more successful transactions. We also knew that guests that offered more information about themselves and their trip also lead to more successful transactions. Alternatively, some users choose not to add a profile photo because it might hurt their chances of a successful booking because of biased prejudices. This fear was warranted. Studies showed that specific demographics, like African Americans and Senior citizens, earned the least bookings through Airbnb.
Based on our findings, we created a unique set of goals. We needed to simplify the guest on-boarding flow, while making it easy for users to divulge bit sized pieces of information that would help hosts pre-screen guests and make informed decisions when accepting a booking request. At the same time, we need to be sensitive about the kinda of information we require users to submit. We cannot make submitting sensitive information, like adding a profile photo, mandatory.
In the images below you can see, we explored three main entry points for guest-onboarding: Sign Up, Request to Book, and contact host. With each entry point, we concepted 3-4 user flows for A/B testing. Along with the on-boarding flow, we also had to consider how these new elements would integrate with the profile page that would house the information that we wanted to collect.
We designed near term and future forward ideas that could be developed in phases:
We created multiple guest on-boarding flows for A/B testing:
Ultimately, some components were implemented, others were cut, and some idea still remain on the table.