Fidelity isn’t exclusive to the timeline

If any given iteration calls for a more (or less) detailed prototype because it will better suit the users you are testing, then it should be presented as a testable option.

Build out what is essential for the user to properly use/test your product.
Don’t deviate from the brand

My second prototype featured flourishes and elements that aren’t currently part of the Airbnb design language. In retrospect, this could cause issues for a user that is already familar with the brand or a stakeholder that is mistaking the integration as a redesign.

Content is just as much part of the design as
the visuals.
Avoid a design that is “leading”

The weaknesses in my prototypes were largely due 
to creating distinct paths in the processes I wanted 
the users to explore.
Stakeholder Prototype–
Designed to allow users to take a happy path of sharing a listing, but to do so while being able to freely move about the app (navigation). The updates aimed to alleviate the issues that became apparent in testing the previous iterations (“dead clicks,” exploratory, less leading).

Tools: Sketch, Invision Studio, (some exploration using Framer)
Usability Prototype–
A prototype more so focused on the user being able to complete a specific task (in this case, creating and navigating a chat window) and guiding them through to that task by using accents of colors, buttons, more direct content and some simple iconography (colors exsisting as part of the current Airbnb design language).

Tools: Sketch, Invision Studio
Concept Prototype–
Designed to test users in a task-based and exploratory manner. I wanted to connect some of the less substantial 
familiar visual elements that exist in the Airbnb app (such as the red color for action items, the logo as a way to access the 

Tools: Sketch, Marvel
Ultimately, the goal of the design is to provide a system within the native app that will retain users and prevent them
from “bouncing” or leaving the app in search of another product or service to complete their communication-related tasks–
a trend that was identified in the initial user reasearch.
Design Goal

Providing users with a space to communicate with 
others (currently, they must leave the app to do so) while allowing them to share content (share saved listings, calendars, pinterest boards, etc.) and provide feedback (direct comments, polling/voting system).
How Success Will Be Measured: Retention (Quantitative)

• Number of Completed Booking’s

• Return Rates

• New User Registration

...over a *specified* period of time.
Design Process
Wireframes. Usability and Stakeholder Prototypes.

Based on the desk research and survey results, I developed a recommendation that would serve as the foundation for the following iterative designs.
An integrated group chat platform that lives within
the Airbnb platform (not external like Messenger) that would allow the user to add members to a chat, share information and respond to information shared by other users.
Based on the survey results, users have a preference towards mobile devices when it comes to communication–which comes as no major surprise given that 95% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind.*

*Demographics of Mobile Device Ownership and Adoption in the United States. (2018, February 05). Retrieved from

Of the users surveyed–there was a trend of a preference towards Facebook for group communication–specifically Messenger, an external chat application provided through Facebook.

Mobile Phones are the preferred method of communication–
95%)* preferring mobile phones to laptops (5%)*, desktops (0%)* or tablets (0%)* with no additional devices reported.

The preferred method for group communication aligns with the mobile phone trend stated previously, with (
79%)* preferring texting or iMessage and (16%)* preferring Facebook Messenger.

If users* had an ideal “system,” it
would include:

“Shared calendar, internet skeleton plans, reminders, contact list integrated with Google”

“Transferability from cellphone to computer, data encryption, simple controls”
**Additional desk research was conducted using sources such as PEW and the Airbnb Blog
*of Users Surveyed–
Research Questions–

1. Which/what device do you most frequently use for communication?

2. Do you have a preferred method for group communication? What is the platform?

3. When communicating, do you have a preference between phone calls, video calls, texting or other means?
4. What is the quickest and easiest way to share multi-faceted information with someone else?
5. If you are planning a trip/event/project, does your preferred platform allow you to add and involve other users in the planning process?
6. Is there a space/platform you use to share planned or intended events/trips/ideas with others? If so, what is it?

7. Do you have a preferred platform you use to collect ideas, inspiration or information? If so, what is it?
If there were an ideal system you could use to communicate and share ideas with multiple people, what would it include?

Which device do you most frequently use for communication?
a) Laptop computer (5%)*
b) Desktop computer (0%)*
c) Mobile phone (95%)*
d) Tablet (0%)*
e) Other (0%)*

10. Do you have a preferred method for group communication? What is the platform?
a) iMessage (79%)*
b) Facebook Messenger (16%)*
c) GroupMe (0%)*
d) WhatsApp (0%)*
e) Other (5%)*
What to Research–How are users communicating 
in an environment where their needs are neglected? What tools are they using?

Target users are identified as young adults, primarily those age 18-35
*Millenials (23–39 as of 2019) account for 60% of the bookings made through Airbnb
*You must be
at least 18 years old to create an Airbnb account

I created and issued a survey with the intent to discover 
how the target audience is communicating in group settings and what their specific preferences and habits are. I was 
ideally looking for a trend in specific messaging applications and what these applications had in terms of features/flaws, 
and the user’s thoughts and feelings regarding their interactions with these products. The aim was to better understand what these systems would include in an “ideal” situation–what do users need that they don’t currently have access to?
Research, Insight and Discovery
How do users communicate?
No options to
share, engage
or collect
additional inspiration / ideas
Included on
an Upcoming trip but limited in
feedback/decision making
Ability to search listings but can’t search for other users
Ability to invite friends but can’t
get input,
feedback or collaborate
A feed that
shows current activity and promotes a search
Landing Page | Feed
Plan a Trip–Add Guests
Search Function
Upcoming Trips
Saved | Favorites
The Problem–The Inability to Communicate

Group Travelers are struggling to make plans and decisions because of a poor communication process and lack of information sharing (ability to share information effectively and efficiently).

Airbnb’s current app experience
does not offer users any opportunity to:

Communicate in a group setting
Share content, provide and/or receive feedback
• Share and/or import calendars
Involve multiple users throughout the booking process
The Solution

A chat feature (built within the exsisting native app framework) that will make group communication 
and information exchange easier by consolidating 
content, creating an accessible space and eliminating
unnecessary steps and processes.

About seven-in-ten Americans (72%) have used some type of online or shared service, such as the ride-hailing service Uber or the home-sharing service Airbnb. College graduates, those with relatively high household incomes and those
younger than 45 are most exposed to these services.

88% of Airbnb’s reservations are for groups of two to four people and 60% of the reservations are for an 
entire home/apartment.

In 2016, over
15.5 million groups took trips on Airbnb and this trend has continued to grow. The business has identified this as a key area for growth in revenue and brand engagement.
MUXD 5103.01 Prototyping

User Research, Wireframes, User Testing, 
Journey and Task Maps, Usability and 
Stakeholder Prototypes

Miro, Sketch, Marvel, Framer, InVision
Airbnb Integration–
Travel Together