There is a reason why you are not familiar with many of Airbnb’s competitors, or maybe you don’t know any of them at all. The rental / booking giant has been thriving on the global market for ten years and still hasn’t found anyone to resist it.
Much of this success is due to the ongoing efforts of the Airbnb design team to create a user experience that surpasses those of other similar services.
As a designer, I’ve always been amazed at Airbnb’s approach to their design goals and how their product has been transforming over the years. Therefore, in this article, I will try to define what makes their landing page different and why it is successful.
Visual clarity and minimalism
“In design, I strive for two things: simplicity and clarity. Great design comes from these things. ” – Lyndon Leader
Using color contrast and shadows, the user interface is essentially two layers: a card containing explanatory text and a call to action (CTA) button. upper leveland the rest of the page is perceived as background layer…
With little or no cognitive effort, users can identify the top level (card) as an area with which they can interact. The page as a whole does not overload users with information, which gives users a clear path of interaction.
Reducing the cognitive load required by the user to achieve their goals is of the utmost importance when designing for humans.
Let’s compare it to the Booking landing page in terms of visual clarity using a prediction method:
Measuring the optical clarity of landing pages (above the fold) for Booking.com and Airbnb using the VisualEyes plugin
Greater clarity facilitates easier and more controlled scanning of information. Two metrics can determine how efficiently an interface is designed for interactions – these are visual complexity and prototype… The combination of these two metrics significantly affects the aesthetic handling of the user and thus determines how he will interact with the interface.
More complexity requires more cognitive load. More cognitive load means less user engagement and, consequently, less conversion and profitability.
The basic idea:
Airbnb set the focal point of interaction; therefore, users have already determined where to look to collect information.
Z-pattern (for people who read from left to right)
People have a natural reading pattern that applies when visual stimuli are present.… Following a natural eye movement pattern, Z-pattern complements the best single-purpose web pagesthat contain only one call to action.
This specific pattern “tracks” users’ eye movements, allowing visuals to be strategically placed.
So, Airbnb used Z-pattern.
Using this layout, Airbnb’s designers achieved a concise visual hierarchy. Areas of interest that convey a message are precisely defined and communicated to the user. Below you can see how Airbnb’s Z layout translates into attention heatmaps:
Attention heatmaps generated in Figma using the VisualEyes plugin
Attention heatmaps suggest that the selected areas get the most attention from the user in a given case.
As shown in the right image, the ROI where the card is placed is highlighted three times morethan the focal point of the main image, while the call-to-action button in the lower right corner of the white card almost three times more noticeable than the card itself…
The basic idea:
Airbnb further expands the traditional path of interaction by drawing most of the attention to a single action – clicking a button – needed to “dive deeper” into their product.
Find out more about Z-pattern here.
“Priming is a technique whereby exposure to one stimulus affects the response to a subsequent stimulus without conscious guidance or intention.”
In other words, priming happens when you take memories or associations and use them to influence future behavior in relation to the upcoming question.
Almost all sites / products apply a “priming” effect to their audience in one way or another. In our case, on the Airbnb landing page, visitors are exposed to associative priming using images. The design team did an excellent job of finding images that perfectly match the target group of the company, to ensure that the right emotions are triggered…
What words come to your mind when looking at the house in the left image? Maybe something like soothing, soothing, refreshing, unique, carefree, or even vacation-inspired?
The basic idea:
By applying the “priming” effect to the target audience, designers Airbnb use carefully selected images to evoke emotions that may be associated with the expected experience: vacation in a great location.
You can read more about priming in this article…
Simple, strong and effective language
The text serves two purposes:
- Confirms the reason the user first visited the website – “I am where I planned to go.”
- Sets the user’s goal “Now I have to look for the places I want to visit.”
Using simple and straightforward language when exchanging messages essential in web designbecause it ensures that your audience doesn’t misinterpret your proposal. Remember that communication is a two-way street:
“How well we communicate depends not on how well we speak, but on how well we are understood.” – Andrew Grove
Airbnb avoids unnecessary jargonby choosing words that their target audience will easily understand.
The basic idea:
The text content has been carefully selected to reveal the specific message and value of the product as quickly as possible with a few words. At the same time, avoiding the risk that their audience will not understand the proposal.
Discerning design is human-centered and stimulates action and emotion. The Airbnb design team has found a very subtle, almost invisible, way to control what users do on their website. The experience framing has been so delicately designed that it speeds up interactions while maintaining the primary purpose of the user.
Thanks for reading!
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Thanks Jim Raptis.