Airbnb has become a very popular way for people to experience new places by staying with a local resident in a more unique home instead of the usual hotel room. The user experience journey of booking an Airbnb listing is relatively straightforward once the user knows what they are looking for. The customer decides where they would generally like to stay, for how long, how many people, how much they are willing to pay, etc. Then after browsing listings and reading previous guest reviews, the user then chooses a listing and messages the owner to request a booking. The duration of the stay is largely dependent on the purpose of the guest’s trip, but may involve some extent of interaction with the host, and then after the stay the guest has the option to leave a review for their host and then share Airbnb benefits with their friends and receive referral rewards as well).
Some key pain points of the booking and stay process that I noticed were in comparing listing to each other and during the stay with respect to host interaction. The Airbnb interface does not have a feature to directly compare two or multiple listings, although you can choose save listings to specific lists, and then view them within the list, and see an overview of the properties through the lists. This may make it difficult for some users to decide on the best home for them. Another pain point is in how guests should interact with the hosts. Airbnb does have a feature where the host can indicate how much interaction they intend to have with guests, but there isn’t an easy way to instruct people on how to have these interpersonal exchanges, and it is largely left up to the guest/host to message each other about various concerns. Some guests may be nervous about messaging their host, especially if it is their first experience with Airbnb. Most of the major pain points in the user journey are from guest/host interactions, such as checking in and checking out. These actions vary widely across the Airbnb experience because it depends heavily on the guests’ and hosts’ behaviors.