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User journey map for both host and guest's experience through Airbnb.

Airbnb Research Project

This research project was a 14 week project dedicated to take a deep dive into design research and finding design opportunities through people. This project answers the question: What does hospitality mean to both guests and hosts through Airbnb?

 

Research Participants

For this research, we interviewed 7 participants that were either a host or a guest. 3 were guests that have booked through Airbnb +3 times, 3 were hosts for +2 years, and 1 was a super host.

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Karen has used Airbnb as a guest +5 times.

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Nico has used Airbnb as a guest +3 times.

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David has used Airbnb as a guest +3 times.

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Nick is a host for Airbnb for +2 years and he rents out a room.

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Rachel is a host for Airbnb for +2 years and she rents out a room.

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Carolyn is a host for Airbnb for +2 years and she rents out a room.

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Lia is a super host for Airbnb for +2 years and rents out a room.

 

Methodology

For the interview, we have asked each participant to complete 3 tasks. These tasks help participants give more insightful conversations about their experience.

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Experience Timeline

Understanding the before and after experience using Airbnb.

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Dixit Cards

Understanding host and guest's perspective on the world of hospitality. 

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Lego Building

Understanding how they view themselves as a guest or host.

 
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People

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Environment

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Objects

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Messages

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Services

 
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Social Order

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Roles

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Meaning of Airbnb

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Patterns, Rituals, Behaviors

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Order Provided

 
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Culture

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Emotions

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Social

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Cognitive

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Physical

 
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Bordieu's four forms of capital

 

Problems

  • Guest + host different habits.

  • Hosts can't communicate without other hosts.

  • Hosts don't know guest are like beforehand.

  • Hosts may not always be present.

  • Guest breaking rules.

  • Language barriers.

  • Host not maintaining.

  • Guests expecting lots of attention.

  • Reviews can be too "polite'.

  • Not being trustworthy.

  • Feeling awkward at home.

  • Hosts want it to be "over already".

  • Hosts have less privacy.

  • Disruptive to locals + neighbors.

  • Hosts not providing proper hospitality, just business.

  • Attracting the wrong kind of guest.

  • Worried about bad reviews.

Needs

Host

  • Income

  • Guest needs

  • Peace of mind

  • Privacy/ security

  • Understand guest plans

  • Good reviews

  • Assurance

  • Rules

Guest​

  • Cultural experience

  • Privacy

  • Safety/ security

  • Hospitality + communication

  • Comfort + freedom

  • Transportation

  • Directions

Systems

Host

  • Adoption of system

  • Understanding who the guest is

  • Host community communication

  • Accommodating guest's needs

  • Establishing house rules + privacy

  • City regulations

Guest​

  • Planning travel

  • Writing honest reviews

  • Organizing transport

  • Rules of host

  • Restay - not using airbnb

  • Yelp/ Uber for guidance

  • Cancellation/ relocation

Themes

Host

  • Source of income

  • Creative career

  • Communal host

  • Business owner/ self employed

Guest​

  • Experienced traveller

  • Business traveller

  • Student guest

  • Family guest

  • Group of friends traveling

Insights

Opportunties

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International host-to-host teaching system.

Language and etiquette differences impair the quality of hospitality.

An optional task system for hosts and guests to share.

A shared schedule allows hosts to tailor hospitality.

Recommendation system from previous hosts.

Strong trust between the hosts and guests enhances the experience.

Discounts for repeat stays.

Users avoid the airbnb system for repeat stays.

A city "to-do" database run by local.

Work lives of host prevent constant hospitable attention.

A shared reward system.

The better the guest, the more hospitable the host.

Incremental releasing of reviews.

Users hold back when writing reviews.

Mentoring and/or class as part of stay.

The type of hospitality varies depending on the occupation of the host.

This project was a group class project (Dali Yu) in 14 weeks during 4th semester at Art Center College of Design. This research project was not sponsored by Airbnb. (May 2015 - August 2015)