Airbnb wants to connect travelers with interesting new places to stay. But for guests in new cities, it can be overwhelming to find and sort through all the options available to them. That’s why the company is unveiling a new search experience that combines a giant map, new filters, and photos of places to stay.
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, Airbnb CTO and co-founder Nate Blecharczyk talked about the new experience, which the company will begin rolling out today. It’s designed to put all of the features users need to discover Airbnb properties all on a single page.
At the center of the experience is a new, giant map, which allows guests to figure out which part of town they’d like to stay in and find appropriate listings in that area. Since locations is often the number one factor users consider when they’re staying in a new place, Airbnb wanted to ensure that the company made it even easier to take it into account.
The new map takes up about 40 percent of the screen real estate, compared to the old map, which was just a couple of hundred pixels large. The map is also dynamic, so that it changes size based on the size of the browser window. All of which makes it easier than ever to scroll in and out, look at multiple places, and cruise around the map area.
Airbnb has invested a lot in ensuring that its hosts have attractive representations of their lodgings listed on the site, even going so far as to hire professional photographers to capture images of some of the most popular and interesting properties on the site. Since photos are such an important part of finding the right place to stay, Airbnb has increased their prevalence the search page, and again, made them a lot bigger — ensuring that visitors will have a good idea of the place that they’re staying in.
In addition to the photos and maps, Airbnb has also refined its filters on the new search page, to make the most important filters also the easiest to find and use. Since travel dates, space type, and cost are the most used filters for its guests, it’s putting them right there on the page. But guests can drill down and view others by clicking the “More Filters” page.
For Airbnb, the revamped search page is just one more way that the company is trying to streamline the process of finding what a user wants and booking a reservation. Because the faster users are able to find a place, the more likely they are to book, and the more money the company makes.