In the news of Airbnb, the mighty vacation property rental platform is gradually rolling out a new homepage design. Set to coincide (supposedly) with the launch of City Hosts, the new simpler design is said to be focused on experiences as a key message. Whether or not Airbnb’s PR department is working overtime to get “juice” out of the paradigm “user experience” trend or not, this remains to be seen. As for most of the changes rolled out by Airbnb, the new homepage has been released as an A/B tests and thus is not yet live for 100% of the traffic.
So far I like what Airbnb is doing bring more experience oriented imagery and use ease to the service. Though less than “stunning”, putting a flat east user interface underneath the warmth of humanoids – well, the design guys at Airbnb are no dummies neither. I can’t see the new homepage, it’s in A/B testing, but based on the hints about “Magical Trips.”, travelers can expect a bit of a “Disney” effect coming soon. Throughout this year, rumors about Magical Trips have swirled, and Airbnb will formally debut the project at this year’s Airbnb Open, in November. City Hosts and Magical Trips seem to build upon the foundation already laid out by Airbnb’s latest global campaign, Live There, a facet that is worth visiting.
The Live There campaign not only included new marketing and advertisements but also a number of enhancements to Airbnb’s app and the addition of Guidebooks on its platform that emphasize both personalization and experiences. Within the app, Airbnb included a new “matching system” that takes travelers’ preferences into account to match them with homes, neighborhoods, and experiences that meet their needs. The Guidebooks feature insider tips from Airbnb hosts about their favorite things to see/do/eat in their cities.
I was presented this morning with a very cool “experience” offering, a Hobbit Home of my very own in Orondo , Washington. For just $250 bucks a night my clan can live it up just like Bilbo Baggins of Bag End. The only thing I would suggest to Airbnb and users with properties for let is, get some high res images people, my internet experience is suffering.