Airbnb Simplifies Mobile App One Screen At A Time

In an effort to make the user experience friendlier and simpler, Airbnb has rolled out a redesign of its app. “We’re trying to rethink the experience of Airbnb, as if it started in the mobile era,” explains design chief Alex Schleifer. To make this happen, Airbnb’s product team decided to break out the components of the guest-facing app. That meant ask the key booking questions one by one — one screen at a time — so as to walk the user through the steps. “Putting these question up front is really new for us,” says design manager Amber Cartwright. “In our past experience they’ve been really hidden, and hard to find.” The experience has been made deliberately simple, with as few elements as possible. Katie Dill, who leads experience design at the company, says the redesign is aimed at making mobile “the best way to book Airbnb.”


Among the updated app features are ones intended to help travelers assimilate into the local culture. This dovetails with a new Airbnb advertising campaign that urges people not just to visit a place but to “Live There.” The work, by TBWA\Chiat\Day is said to be aimed at younger travelers. Typical narrative: “Don’t go to Paris. Don’t tour Paris, and please don’t do Paris. Live in Paris.” Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall said he wanted the brand’s tv and print advertising  to capture the idea that people shouldn’t simply go to a new place, they should live there, even if only for one night.