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Airbnb Content Strategy Case Study

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This case study was completed in Ian Magwire's Product Content Strategy class in the University of Washington's Communication Leadership Program.

Veröffentlicht in: Design
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Airbnb Content Strategy Case Study

  1. 1. Airbnb Content Strategy Plan (Property Listings and Search Results Pages) Final Project: Let Users Be the Hero of the Story Group HZ: Lily Zimmerman, Hang Zhao X COMMLD 510: Product Content Strategy
  2. 2. Intro to Airbnb X
  3. 3. Intro to Airbnb • “In November 2016, co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, announced that Airbnb was going to become an end-to-end travel platform, offering flights, experiences and more. The objective is for Airbnb to become the Amazon.com equivalent for travel—a one-stop-shop for holiday-goers. Last year, Airbnb began highlighting hotels more prominently on its website and introduced a loyalty program, taking a step further onto the turf of its rivals. 1 • “Beyond renting homes, the Airbnb app now allows users to make restaurant reservations. It has said it will soon provide transportation booking services. “It’s all part of the efforts to broaden the base,” said one source. “To make what they do more mainstream.” 2 X
  4. 4. Business Goals Provide guests with easily findable information on unique homes and experiences along with quick, seamless, end-to-end travel assistance all over the world; Provide accessible features for all users with different task orientations to achieve a sense of belongingness, authenticity, diversity, inclusion and ‘localness’ wherever they go; Empower users to explore brand-new global communities in which everybody feels as at home as they have with anywhere they’ve ever stayed before. X
  5. 5. Revenue Ranking: 1) Airbnb - # 271 2) VRBO - # 2000 3) Flipkey - # 53,000 4) Homestay - # 90,000 1) Airbnb - $2.8 B annually 2) Homestay - $9.5 M annually 3) VRBO - $5.4 M annually 4) Flipkey - $3.2 M annually Global Traffic Ranking: As you can see from the global traffic and revenue rankings, Airbnb easily dominates its competitors. As the 271st most trafficked site globally, Airbnb has a HUGE opportunity to increase conversion and revenue by optimizing their website experience. Competitive Landscape X
  6. 6. What’s working and what’s not working? Founded by two RISD grads, Airbnb is already well-respected for its hip and minimalist design aesthetic. They have won a handful of design and strategy awards including Cannes Lions. 3 From original, simple typography, to sparing use of colors, Airbnb appears to be deliberate about its design decisions; and users along with critics generally have positive associations with Airbnb from a design perspective . 4 When it comes to Content Strategy and UX issues like findability, accessibility, and user control and freedom over website features, there is much room for improvement, as we will demonstrate through our research findings and recommendations. X
  7. 7. ● Largely millennial leisure travelers and business travelers (people between the ages of 21 and 36 and born between 1981-1996) looking for neat, comfortable accommodations that are also affordable, personal and functional. ● They cherish their time and attention so much that anything except clearly and directly leading them to their goals may become a distraction and decrease their user satisfaction. They want relevant searching results, and to quickly and easily locate desired info. 5 ● Tools such as the filter, navigationand search bar increase findability and accessibility (Muchneeded.com). However, these needs are not met during the search and booking process. Target Audience Task-Positive Travelers: ● Users at times may approach the booking process from a task-negative orientation. ● Task-negative users (don’t have a specific tasks to accomplish) and may prefer to browse around, getting a sense of different travel options. ● Task-negative travelers might benefit from seeing category titles to give them ideas of where to start browsing from in order to narrow their search. Task-Negative Travelers: X
  8. 8. Airbnb User Journey Initiate travel plans Land on homepage Choose “Explore Airbnb” Search location Use “Dates” & “Guests” to narrow down Keep browsing Choose listing Keep browsing Look for property details Keep browsing Use navigation or search bar Decide to book Confirm and pay Task-positive users Task-negative users Both user types Home Page Search Results Page Property Details Page Checkout Page X
  9. 9. Airbnb’s website fails to support findability and accessibility, to cater directly to different user task orientations, and to provide increased user control and freedom over the house renting process. As assigned, our case study analysis focuses on the Search Results and Property Details pages. Findability Accessibility User Control and Freedom Problem Statement X
  10. 10. Supporting Data and Research X
  11. 11. User Control: Disregard for user task orientation • Unless the user selects a specific search category (and the options are not apparent) search results are pushed down-page and shown below the “Explore” section. This can frustrate users. o Airbnb’s search process should be fast and straightforward to support task-positive users who know what they’re looking for. “Above the fold” space is extremely important. In other words, key content must be displayed first, up top, or risk being missed by user. (Interaction-Design.org) Search Results PageOriginal Design X
  12. 12. Findability + User Control and Freedom: Under-Emphasized Filter Tool ● Not properly emphasizing and labeling the filter tool also has the potential to slow down and frustrate users who want to execute searches quickly o Click here to read from AIGA on the importance of designing for short attention spans o Click here to read about leading users directly to tools & content Original Design X Search Results Page
  13. 13. Accessibility: No H1 Header • The WAVE accessibility audit tool identified a missing h1 header for the search results page on Airbnb. H1 headers are essential because they communicate a central feature of the page to users with screen-readers (the header, or most important text). o These are violations of WCAG as this is necessary content for maximum accessibility o Adding an h1 header can help aid in accessible navigation and can support SEO Screenshot from WAVE Audit X Search Results Page
  14. 14. Accessibility: Empty Button Areas & Missing Alt-Text • As observed through browser web-developer tools, and as flagged by the WAVE audit, the site’s code lists many images as: Alt = 0 alt = “ ” • This means that screen reader users cannot access the descriptive content for these images. This impedes the users’ ability to make a well-informed decision about their booking. Button descriptions are essential to screen reader users as they indicate the effect of a button the user might want to utilize X Search Results Page
  15. 15. Accessibility Audit Snapshot Search Results Page X
  16. 16. Why is findability so important? ● Press: According to its official press “Amenities Do Matter: Airbnb Reveals Which Amenities Travelers Value Most”, it is shown that amenities are important for users. ● User behavior: The task-positive users come to the site with a clear travel purpose, look for spacious, comfortable accommodations and convenient amenities such as kitchen. They are also eager to know what is not included in the house and then make comparison between several favorite ones. However, they find it difficult to find “amenities” in first glance because there is no such label in the current navigation (Figure 1). ● Content audit result: The content audit result of property details in module level indicates that “amenities” is an important content contained in the “overview” section but it is hidden from the navigation (Figure 2 - Slide 17). Figure 1 Users cannot locate “amenities” in the first place since there is no such tab displayed on navigation Property Details Page Findability: Hard to find “Amenities” quickly X
  17. 17. Figure 2 Screenshot from Content Audit of Property Details at Module Level X Property Details Page
  18. 18. Why is findability so important? ● Responsive content audit result: o The “mobile-first test” helps identify the priority of tasks that users will encounter while finding their desired content, including amenities. The current navigation fails to help users to achieve their goals effectively. o Unlike using a mouse on larger screens, users use their fingers on small mobile screens with low clicking accuracy. Therefore, clear navigation with big icons on mobile would be easier for them to press and get the information they want. o Unlike big-screen desktops, mobile screens have limited space. Therefore, the content cannot be completely and directly displayed on the screen. In order to prevent the page length from being too long on small screens, more information hierarchies could be added. This way, users will have access to all kinds of content within limited space. That’s why navigation supporting the structure and hierarchy is important. Findability: Hard to find “Amenities” quickly X Property Details Page
  19. 19. Accessibility + User Control and Freedom: “Amenities” Elements Not Accessible for All ● We identified that the content of “amenities” is not self-evident enough. Specifically, after clicking “Show all amenities”, all of the content is displayed through text. ● This is worth focusing on because, for people who have difficulty with literacy, text may not help them understand the content. Instead, icons aligned with the text can provide insight and may help them to understand content even without needing to expend cognitive effort. X Property Details Page
  20. 20. Opportunity Statement X
  21. 21. Opportunity Statement If we optimize the existing findability and accessibility issues on Airbnb’s website, we will return control and freedom over the search and booking process back to the user. Our recommendations have the potential to create a more fluid, effortless user experience leading to increased user satisfaction and higher conversion. X
  22. 22. Content Strategy Solutions & Hypotheses X
  23. 23. User Control and Freedom: Design for User Task Orientation • Expedite search process for task-positive users who know what they’re looking for o Display search results first at the top of the page • Point task-negative users who want to browse with toward “Explore” menu. o Place “Explore” button in the same module as the filters for findability and easy access (further right from filters, to distinguish between the two elements ) o Categories pop out when user hovers Search Results Page Recommended Design X
  24. 24. Findability + User Control and Freedom: Emphasize Filters + Add Explore button • Make “Filter” section and individual filter options more findable to afford user optimal freedom and control over search specifications • Filter menu options pop up when user hovers Recommended Design X
  25. 25. Findability: Make “Amenities” More Apparent Original version Redesigned version ● We designed new navigation with a drop-down menu (the red area) based on content audit results. X Property Details Page ● When users hover on “Overview”, the drop- down menu shows up and provides users with various property details such as “Amenities”, “Availability”, etc. With no need to scroll, they can easily click what they want through the label. As they scroll on, this navigation will be locked on the top of the page so that users can always find their desirable information quickly and don’t get lost in the site. Redesigned version
  26. 26. Findability: Make “Amenities” More Apparent ● In addition, we suggest adding a search bar for users to locate information through keywords. Even though there’s already a search bar in the persistent navigation, the current search bar is not helpful for getting property details. Adding a search bar with an efficient searching function, another one of task-positive users’ favorite tools, could help enhance findability and user interaction. Search property details Search property details X Property Details Page Redesigned version
  27. 27. Accessibility + User Control and Freedom: Enhance accessibility for “Amenities” ● Add corresponding icons to original text to make content more self-evident; ● Separate available and unavailable amenities into different groups ● Use green “Include” label and “√” to indicate available amenities; use red “Do not include” label and “X” to indicate unavailable amenities; ● Add feature “Compare to my list” to take advantage of computational algorithm to compare the listed available amenities to users’ own list in which their ideal amenities are saved in the first place so that the system helps users easily identify whether or not the house meets their needs. X Property Details Page Redesigned version
  28. 28. Measuring Success X
  29. 29. Measuring Recommendation Success A/B Testing + Qualitative Surveys These tests can reveal user perspectives and site metrics including brand trust & satisfaction, CTR (Click-through rate), time of task completion, conversion, bounce rate, etc. ● If it goes well, we might see: ○ decrease time in task completion ○ decrease in bounce rate ○ increase in click-through rate of the new features ○ increase in user satisfaction ○ increase in conversion ● If it goes poorly, we might see: ○ decrease in user satisfaction ○ decrease in conversion ○ decrease in click-through rate of the new features ○ increase in task completion time ○ increase in bounce rate ? X
  30. 30. Roadmap and Implementation X
  31. 31. Content Strategist Graphic Designer Web Developer Product Manager Research CS Design Testing Optimization Implementation Plan Create + Iterate Research + Brief Create + Iterate Check-In Approval Optimize Optimize Optimize Launch Project Workflow: X Adapted from slidegeeks.com
  32. 32. Summary X
  33. 33. Summary We identified three main problem areas on the Search Results and Property Details pages in Airbnb’s website. These issues are findability, accessibility and user control & freedom. After detailed research, we offered corresponding solutions aiming to optimize the existing findability and accessibility issues, and to return control and freedom over the house renting process to the users. Our projected positive outcome is a more fluid, effortless user experience leading to increased user satisfaction and higher conversion on the Airbnb website. X
  34. 34. XSummary Table Problem Recommendation Projected Outcome Disregard for user task orientation Display search results first at the top of the page. Place “Explore” button in the same module as the filters for findability and easy access (further right from filters, to distinguish between the two elements ) Increase in CTR, conversion and customer satisfaction, decrease in task-completion time and bounce rate Underemphasized filter tool Emphasize filters (and add explore button) Increase in CTR, conversion and customer satisfaction, decrease in task-completion time and bounce rate Missing h1 header, alt-text, button labels on Search Results Page Edit or add h1 header, button labels, and alt-text for images Increase in CTR, conversion and customer satisfaction, decrease in task-completion time Hard to find “Amenities” quickly on Property Details Page Substitute a new navigation with drop-down menu for the original one and add a new search bar Increase in CTR, satisfaction rate and conversion; decrease in wrong paths and time spent in finding property details “Amenities” elements are not accessible for all on Property Details Page Redesign “Amenities” section to enhance accessibility Increase in CTR of the new feature, conversion and satisfaction from more segments of users; decrease in bounce rate and task-completion time
  35. 35. Sources 1 ) https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/airbnb-buy-hoteltonight-biggest-acquisition/316913)= 2) https://www.fastcompany.com/90339846/airbnb-goes-hollywood-ahead-of-ipo-travel-app-to-develop- streamingshows?partner=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss?cid=search 3) https://design.studio/work/airbnb 4) https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/aesthetic-intelligence/#examples-of-brands-with-high-aesthetic-iqs 5) https://blogs.oracle.com/marketingcloud/millennials-are-taking-over-and-its-all-right X
  36. 36. Appendix Spreadsheet Links: General Content Audits: - Hang: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oljbjq1w4qlzm59/Content%20Audit%20Spreadsheet-Hang%20Zhao.xlsx?dl=0 - LZ: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yay6KzwaxNQJNxvbDQozwIRCHneVEC9Iolu1Ns20muc/edit?u sp=sharing Responsive Content Audits: - Hang: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cwx19ssl2469tmt/Responsive%20content%20audit-Hang%20Zhao.xlsx?dl=0 - LZ: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1-Bnai3JWG7jZhN7i_k6z0jPvciqSolEec0FKkbpy7KM/edit?usp=sharing Accessibility Audits: - Hang: https://www.dropbox.com/s/02n8cm6dwj0r13q/Accessibility%20and%20Content%20Strategy%20worksheet.xlsx?dl=0 - LZ: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sAwMBkkRgMLcPzqezGPbpOFbfMKHf909Mwlaip_M75w/edit?usp=sharing X