Our Response to the Airbnb Redesign

July 29, 2014 |
Airbnb Branding : Airbnb Redesign

Needless to say, when we here at Guesty heard that Airbnb was going to be unveiling some new features early last week, we were beyond excited. Our staff, along with thousands of other Airbnb users and fans, anxiously hopped online last Tuesday to witness the live announcement of Airbnb’s grand redesign. So what do we think about the changes? Well the new site looks absolutely gorgeous: flat, slick, and pleasantly seamless to browse. Not to mention refocused, with a clearly defined hierarchy of information that organizes a host’s listing page. Hosts take note, the new hierarchy is very no-nonsense, going in order of the things users care most about when choosing a listing:

  1. Big, big pictures (including now a picture of the host in the browse results)
  2. Reviewer ratings
  3. A small blurb about the listing
  4. Interior details
  5. Amenities (things like good Wifi are going to be more important than ever)
  6. Detailed price info
  7. Host’s description
  8. More photos

Equally impressive is the new and improved Discover section, which utilizes user information to offer nuanced help in satisfying their wanderlust, finding users all the wonderfully obscure places they didn’t even know they wanted to visit. But what about the biggest change to the Airbnb experience; the new “Belong Anywhere” logo? Well, despite some of the controversy surrounding Airbnb’s triangular Bélo (controversy which Airbnb’s marketing team has admirably and cheerfully taken on the chin), we kind of like the new look! The heart-hug hybrid, along with the new tagline, “Belong Anywhere”, are part of Airbnb’s optimistic, if ambitious, project to brand and encapsulate the human interaction that defines their service. Sure, at first, Airbnb’s strive to create what they called a “universal symbol of belonging” seemed a little idealistic, and gooey, and not unlike a John Lennon song. But hey, aren’t those exactly the kinds of qualities one hopes to find in your average Airbnb user? After all, hosts and guests alike, we’re all looking for the same thing. All we want is the opportunity to enjoy a personal experience, to record a meaningful human interaction in our otherwise impersonal travel itinerary. The chance to entertain a guest, or to be a guest. To have a great conversation, to turn a stranger into a lasting friend. And yes that idea is a little cheesy and mushy, but we all love it anyway. That’s what we are, and here at Guesty we believe that’s what Airbnb’s new logo is. Unabashedly sentimental.