This new feature to the Airbnb mobile app enables renters to communicate with each other and split payments in-app.
Although most Airbnb renters like to travel in groups, the Airbnb mobile app is currently lacking ways for friends to plan together and split payments without leaving the app.
Alice and her friends are going to Austin for SXSW. Their schedules are flexible and would like to plan their Airbnb together.
After doing some user interviews, I found that people used Facebook, Google Sheets, Grup Trip, and SMS for group trip planning. For bill splitting, people used KittySplit, Splitwise, Tab, WeChat Wallet, Venmo.
The current Airbnb flow only has two points of group communication and it both involves leaving the app to email:
For the new flow, I added a new path for group collaboration that can be accessed through the standard flow as well as the new tab, called "Social:"
I hijacked the Inbox tab and changed it to Social. This way, it can be split up into a section for inbox and a section for travel groups.
For the group screen, I first went with a Facebook model of communication but then realized that the listings can still get lost so I changed it to a Gruptrip style where members can only add to the list and comment on list items.
I changed the calendar slightly to include a "flexible" date search, inspired by Kayak.
From the original flow, after choosing multiple travelers, a modal will appear asking if they would like to get onto the group flow or continue planning alone.
For the homes listing, I added an additional button that allows sharing directly to the group tab.
At the end of the payment flow, an additional modal will pop up (if they are in group mode) to split the bill. Afterwards, every member will receive a link to pay their share.
NEW GROUP JOURNEY
By allowing users to plan in-app, they will no longer be frustrated by switching apps and be more organized.