Weekly Design Problem #5 — Collaborative Airbnb Planning

Lee Anne Mercado
4 min readFeb 13, 2019


Prompt #5
Design a feature for Airbnb, allowing a group of friends to plan and book their mutual vacation.

The most challenging part of this prompt was deciding on the final design. There were a lot of little pieces and variations of ideas that I had for the solution but I only wanted the most efficient, user friendly pieces to stay with the final solution. Being the designer sometimes puts me into tunnel vision and causes me to neglect to think about the user’s perspective on the affordances and purpose of certain design pieces. To help avoid this, I designed several versions of each design and put it in front of other people with fresh mindsets and asked them what they thought certain things did, which helped me reach better solutions.

Demographic: A wide range of ages (~18–60) who are fairly well-versed in technology.

User Goal: To find and book an Airbnb home together remotely

Current Layout

In order to decide how this collaborative feature would fit seamlessly with the current website, I walked through the process of booking a trip on Airbnb. This helped me envision the current user journey and make sure the new features I would be adding fit well into this map.

User Needs
1. Everyone’s voice should be heard somehow
2. One leader to make executive decisions
3. One place to compare all Airbnb options everyone chooses
4. A way to narrow down everyone’s Airbnb options


Final Design Decisions
One heart for personal and group lists
Adding a home to the group page is done by clicking the hollowed out heart on each listing, which then pops out a list of pages you want to save it to. This feature is from the existing website, whose function is to save a particular place you want to look back on. I chose to keep this because it’s already an intuitive design that perfectly captures what you want to do. Adding a different symbol solely for adding to group trips would have both cluttered the space as well as may have confused users with having more symbols to memorize.

Group Lists page
This is a new heading I added to the navigation links. I also changed the original “Saved” navigation link to “My Lists.” I changed the colloquial of what the site has as “Saved” and changed it to “Lists” because this wording makes more sense in terms of planning a trip as opposed to “Saved” which seems like the items in this tab would be randomly favorited homes for future reference. Although this may be the case for personal saved homes, I needed both tabs to match in order to avoid confusion between the word “Saved” and “List”. Additionally, “My List” works just as well for randomly favorited homes anyway. The “Group Lists” tab can hold multiple different pages for multiple different trips with different groups, thus keeping all the trips organized and separate.

Different saved homes by different people
The group list page for a trip essentially shows all the different possible Airbnb homes everyone in the group is interested in and had saved to the group with their own account. This gives everyone the power to show each other possible choices to stay at without bombarding each other with links on other platforms, thus losing track of them and having difficulty comparing them.

Voting Feature
In order to help narrow down the choices and choose a final Airbnb, the voting feature helps get everyone on the same page and show which is the favored home.

Group Leader
For the sake of clarity and organization, there is one group leader who chooses the final home, books the trip for everyone, and acts as the communicator between the group and the host.

Final App Design

Screen Flow:

Illustrations come from Airbnb Design blogs