Wherever you go, live like a local with hosted experiences.
Traveling can be challenging when you’re forced into the same tourist traps as billions of other hapless souls. But what if the strangers who are intimately familiar with the best ways to experience their environment are empowered to share their knowledge? The result is a truly once-in-a-lifetime trip that pairs locals experts in food, drink, activity, and adventure with the travelers who crave those experiences. This symbiosis is the first step towards creating a more actionable way to leverage the housing platform developed by Airbnb across a broader spectrum of human behaviors and cultural activities. As an early prototype of how to bake experiences into the trips, this design work was created to validate the architecture and positioning through a series of human-centered design sprints.
What I Learned
The line between artifacts created through design and those created with code is quickly blurring. By harnessing React Native frameworks within a modern design IDE, we were able to turn new design components into full-fledged software quicker, and with more alignment with initial design mockups. Additionally, by integrating research and ethnography learnings gathered from real customer data, we were able to design a system experience that was at once informed and inspired by legitimate user pain points.
What I Loved
Organizations that are design-led are few and far between, but with the success of Airbnb as a product company that champions design thinking as a means to innovate and ideate, the future is looking more useful, beautiful, and human. Sometimes it feels as if design in engineering-led organizations is forced to do two jobs: communicate why design itself is important, and having done so do the actual work itself. When the validation of design thinking is baked into an organizations DNA, the work is more fluid, and frankly more fun.