Airbnb Rolls Out An Apple Watch App
Airbnb has discovered its means onto the Apple Watch.
The corporate is releasing a brand new Apple Watch app at present that’s centered round light-weight communication between hosts and visitors. Hosts and friends can use it to get notifications for messages — in addition to learn these messages and reply to them. Hosts may also settle for reserving requests straight from the watch.
However the aim of the app isn’t just to provide notifications about reservations and journey planning, but in addition to assist facilitate communication between the visitor and host all through the entire journey, Airbnb expertise design lead Keenan Cummings stated. Meaning giving hosts a method to commonly keep up a correspondence with the friends and supply solutions and proposals. For instance, hosts can pre-document messages that they will ship via the app which might be solutions to widespread questions (comparable to, “what’s the Wi-Fi password?).
“After you’ve booked a spot, that’s solely the start of an expertise,” Cummings stated. “Your journey expertise is lots concerning the communication between the visitor and host. Messaging is admittedly core to that. So for the host it’s all about responsiveness, the power to speak shortly. For visitors it’s about entry to the host.”
Airbnb’s problem with the Apple Watch was as a lot a microcosm of the event ecosystem across the Watch because it was a problem for Airbnb. Like a lot of the remainder of the world, the staff needed to get its arms on watches earlier than they have been capable of even see what the appliance would seem like on somebody’s wrist — forcing them to get artistic about the best way they labored on the appliance.
Cummings and his group — who constructed the iPad software that Airbnb launched six months in the past — have been tasked with determining what the Airbnb expertise would seem like on a watch. The staff needed to put collectively the appliance comparatively shortly given the brief lead time that just about everybody was given to construct an Apple Watch App.
“We drew on strips of paper and wrapped them round our wrist,” Cummings stated. “It’s a must to do no matter you are able to do to simulate it when the device’s not fairly there but. You usually are not on the watch but, you’ll be able to’t construct a totally interactive prototype and put it on the watch. We needed to be scrappy about importing pictures, utilizing paper and interviewing hosts and friends.”
As soon as the corporate had its arms on a few watches, Airbnb initially assembled a scavenger hunt of types to determine the perfect experiences of the Apple Watch, after which narrowed it right down to a smaller staff to determine the most effective Airbnb expertise based mostly on these positives.
The crux of the issue was to make sure the expertise felt like an Airbnb one, whereas remaining easy and true to a light-weight watch expertise like those the group discovered on the scavenger hunt. Cummings and his group, for instance, appeared to Apple Pay as inspiration for the simplicity an app on the Apple Watch ought to have.
“It was actually thrilling on the primary OS as a result of it was so constrained and compelled that self-discipline,” Cummings stated. “When you are able to do something, it’s arduous to not do something. You’re pressured to restrict yourselves — you need to work out. ‘What are the one or two killer options that do make sense?’ The listing of might-do’s was 20 occasions longer than the ought to-do’s, and we picked the fitting issues.”
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Constructing an app like Airbnb needs to be a stability between professional consumer options (he referred to the lengthy-press perform on the iPhone as one instance) and issues which are instantly obvious. A part of that concerned making a easy introduction to the appliance, which primarily explicitly spelled out the whole lot that customers might do on the app.
Inevitably, at Airbnb the whole lot comes again to simplicity, Cummings stated. As an alternative of questioning whether or not one thing can be helpful, the query revolved round whether or not it was important and pulling out extraneous options.
“One among this firm’s strengths is that self-discipline and simplification, and one other a type of firm’s core values is to be a number,” he stated. “That comes up in our design — are we being a great host to our customers, are we doing what’s greatest for them, are they snug with the tone of the product? When it’s extra summary and more durable to translate, you begin to really feel in your intestine if you’re straying away from what’s greatest for the consumer.”
Featured Picture: Airbnb