UX Teardown of airbnb.com

This is the next assignment on UX design from Viking Code School website. Here is my second assignment – a short analysis of Airbnb UX.

Following Wikipedia definition, “Airbnb is an online marketplace that enables people to list, find, and rent vacation homes for a processing fee”.

1. What are business goals?

“Airbnb will expand beyond home and room rentals to offer full-service, local recommendations (think Yelp)… the plan is to create comprehensive travel planning guides for each community it currently serves with rental listings.
(source: http://www.engagor.com/blog/top-3-social-media-marketing-goals-for-twitter/)

2. Who is the key user?

People in all ages, employed or students, travelling or developing small tourist accommodation business.

3. What is that user’s number one critical goal when using the site?

  • Find budget accommodation for travel destination
  • Offer accommodation for tourists (secondary goal)

4. What is likely to make that user’s experience particularly positive?

  • The easy, intuitive and very quick searching
  • Accommodation presented with accurate maps, details, and photographs

5. What is the approximate information architecture of the site?

Information Architecture

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 17.30.52

6. What is the flow through that architecture for the user who is accomplishing the critical goal you identified above?

Typical Navigation Flow

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 00.16.18.png

7. What styles of navigation are used? Do they answer the key questions (Where am I and how did I get here, Where should I go next and how do I get there?)?

I focused on the navigation flow in searching for accommodation as someone who is not logged in. The website is constructed in such a way, that when I type in a destination and choose dates, it will bring me to the results page with accommodation images and its details, map, and dynamic filters. From this site, we cannot move back to the previous screen. However, we can make here all the changes to the date and time adjusted in the previous screen.

The dynamic filters give instantly appearing results with places where one can choose the most appealing one. Once we click on accommodation, a new tab opens up with many specifics of the place and its gallery. Even in this tab, a user can still change dates and check if the place is available. Here it’s possible to make a booking via Instant Book button.

8. What key interactions does the user have? Are they clear and usable?

Labeling is very clear and easy to follow. The interface is very intuitive. Clicking dates or number of guests activates drop-down menus with calendar and marking the duration of stay. In fact, only location searching requires typing as everything else is based on clicking buttons or moving sliders.

9. What did the site do well to allow the user to accomplish his goal effectively, efficiently and with good satisfaction?

The results page present very useful dynamic filters. Drop down menus are available for dates, the number of guests, location, etc. and with a slider feature easily can be adjusted  Interface is very intuitive. Authors didn’t forget about showing availability of place at different dates without going back through the process searching for new dates. The presentation of information is very easy to read.

10. What did the site do poorly when allowing the user to accomplish his goal effectively, efficiently and with good satisfaction?

Finding past result is hard. When a particular search displays a large number of houses, and I can’t remember the name I found a few minutes earlier, I can’t go back to that place. It would be great to have an option of seeing my previous views, recent history, etc. Although, maybe logged person may not have such an issue.

The website does show results well when searching on the map, zooming in and out. At this point, it is easy to get lost as the search bar still shows the original location in spite of the fact I moved to a different place on the map.

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