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Newly simplified Airbnb homepage

5 years ago from , Head of Design at Amino

I just noticed a simplified Airbnb homepage design. At first I thought the hero area didn't load, so I refreshed and realized it's intentional. When I used Airbnb a couple weeks ago, the hero area was a carousel rotating through a few campaigns.

I think this is an active A/B test, so here's a screenshot (new on the left, old on the right):

Screenshot

I haven't seen any discussion about this anywhere. Maybe I missed it (sorry if so!), or maybe it's not worth discussing, but I thought it was refreshing to see a big brand potentially bucking the hero image/video trend that has dominated web design for the last few years. To me this feels like a step in the direction toward the quiet confidence of Google's homepage.

14 comments

  • Rebecca Ackermann, 5 years ago

    If it is about Airbnb deciding that they have enough brand recognition that they can prioritize user action over a marketing pitch, I'd love to know when and how that decision gets made. It's an interesting inflection point for a brand to move towards "the quiet confidence of Google's homepage," which of course is a reflection of Google's powerful brand recognition.

    6 points
  • Dennis Meng, 5 years ago

    Does anybody have insight into how big UI changes like this get made at large tech companies? (e.g. Airbnb, Dropbox, Pinterest, etc.)

    They're obviously doing A/B tests to figure out which page converts better. But where does qualitative UX research fit in? Is it in the initial concept stages, in the late stages as validation, both, or not at all?

    1 point
  • Nic TrentNic Trent, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    From what I can tell, once you're logged in you get the left, minimal homepage. Potential new users and/or less frequent users probably only see the right version of the homepage with all the advertising.

    Since Airbnb has already secured me as a customer, makes sense to keep things straight forward.

    Anyone else experiencing the same?

    1 point
  • Suganth SSuganth S, 5 years ago

    What I see Left: Airbnb, which doesn't feature the top fold of the home page with experiences. They featured listings you might be interested in, and then showed experiences. For majorty of users it makes sense because they are showing the content they are used to, and additional content below, which triggers exporation

    Right: Just the experiences part and betting on the old users that they will figure out how to find rooms/vacation homes if they want to.

    Airbnb is still strong with videos - (all their experiences product have videos), they just realised they don't need the brand video which talks about hospitality and trust in the first fold, I guess.

    1 point
  • Ola Drachal, 5 years ago

    Hmmm I get only the B version (on the right). Tested it when logged in + incognito mode.

    I must admit that the left version speaks to me more and I like the copy better. Version B seems to focus more on new airbnb features (app, places, books) with version A starting right away with "booking unique homes".

    0 points
  • Nick Sloggett, 5 years ago

    Has an Rdio feel.

    0 points
  • Tim Resudek, 5 years ago

    I think this is just a cookied/uncookied thing. If you're getting the one on the right, try clearing cookies or going incognito and see if you get the one on the left. Makes sense.

    0 points
  • wesley lin, 5 years ago

    I still see the old version(right picture).

    I m curious about what the purpose of the new design is, and how to evaluate this A/B test.

    0 points
  • Renz BRenz B, 5 years ago

    I actually prefer the old one, although the new one really makes the user focus on the intended actions. The old one feels very polished and has attitude.

    0 points