Airbnb Host Dashboard
Airbnb is used by 60 million+ guests renting over 2 million spaces in 191 countries. The host dashboard is where hosts see alerts, upcoming reservations, & reviews.
There are two main user groups in the Airbnb ecosystem: guests and hosts. The existing dashboard for hosts worked for homeowners with one or two properties, but for users with a large number of listings and bookings per month (i.e. property managers), the interface became unwieldy. I joined Airbnb design manager Amber Cartwright to redesign the experience, starting with mobile and expanding to web & tablet.
To better understand the existing product and problems I began asking questions to better understand hosts' needs. Why do people want to see their reservations? What are the most important elements of a reservation? What is the maximum number of listings + reservations we should design for? What alerts/notifications are time sensitive or need immediate attention?
While Airbnb is known for beautiful design and incredible photography, hosts were really craving function over beauty. The dashboard currently used large images for guests and each reservation took up valuable real estate. For someone with 100's of reservations, this was really clunky. Through the discovery process, the main goal emerged:
Design a host dashboard experience that can elegantly adjust for empty states or minimal reservations, as well as multi-listing, high-occupancy use cases.
The majority of the exploration phase was spent was considering filtering options and calendar layouts. Hosts with many different listings wanted the ability to sort by a particular property, but ALL hosts regardless of traffic wanted the same information first: when is my next booking, and what do I need to do right now??
I came up with a wide range of calendar & reservation concepts for this screen, and the team determined a day/month carousel was the way to go. The first mock-up still used large guest images and reservation cards that took up too much real estate on the screen. The second and third got us a few steps closer, but in order to align with the new minimalist style of the rest of the app, the design needed to be even simpler.
In order to suit the most users, we devised a flexible reservations module. Based on a host's number of listings and booking frequency, the app will display daily or monthly views. I worked closely with the mobile engineers and motion designer to ensure the transitions were intuitive and seamless, making it easy for hosts to get the information they needed.
WHY MOBILE FIRST?
The mobile-first approach helped us hone in on what features were absolutely imperative to users. By refining the mobile screens before expanding the concept to web & tablet, I could add a few "nice to have" features or show a bit more information in the web view without losing core functionality.
The goal of the Host Dashboard is to provide hosts with a simple snapshot of the most time sensitive information, as well as a way to plan ahead. Redesigning this tool for Airbnb required considering a wide range of user needs, which also meant spending adequate time researching and testing ideas. Research showed that hosts wanted both a quick, digestible screen AND access to a deep level of detail, which we resolved by hiding unnecessary details, layering content and adding filters. Host Dashboard was announced at Airbnb Open in Paris and featured on wired.com.