The Airbnb Host Community
Discover + Define
We talked directly with Airbnb hosts, closing the gap on our assumptions and their reality. Hosts were churning due to a lack of host-to-host engagement
I led two experience design workshops to define possible solutions. Our earlier research led the way, and we came up with possibilities we never would have imagined
Design + Prototype
My design and development team built a realistic interpretation of the real thing. We iterated, refined, iterated, refined
DISCOVER + DEFINE
Personas gave us anthropological structure. They allowed us to categorize major motivations, apparent needs, and latent needs.
Personas formed the basis for future ideation. Without them, we would have made uninformed, partial, or incorrect assumptions.
DESIGN + PROTOTYPE
I’m a New York-based host; I arrive at the community for the first time
I check out what’s going on in my area in New York
I’m new to the area and I’m not sure about the penalties associated with canceling, so I ask a question
After a while I get a notification that someone replied, so I return to my community profile to check the activity
TEST + Learn
By combining a clickable model with a traditional survey, we asked hosts about what they saw (and what they didn’t):
- Brand alignment: hosts generally felt like the new community would integrate well with the Airbnb experience
- Cities: hosts couldn’t decipher whether or not the existence of cities would add value
- Personalization: hosts questioned the accuracy of personalizing community content and wished there was a greater focus on content relative to their host journey (“show me you know me”)
The community performed well in its initial year of activity:
- Airbnb realized meaningful call-center deflection as a direct result of the community
- They continued to invest in its reach, adding an ideation center and private clubs to the site
- The site has become a platform for local political advocacy.
I love taking on new projects and speaking engagements. Please let me know what you’re working on and how I can be a fit for you.
Copyright Eric E. Ellis. All Rights Reserved.