Airbnb Luxe entered into a new world of luxury travel; allowing customers to explore extraordinary homes in unique destinations, luxury amenities, services and a personal trip designer. I joined the team in early 2018 to support the production of high-quality assets. During that time, I collaborated closely with product designers, editors, producers, external vendors, engineers, product managers, creative directors and executive leadership.
The product page listed images that highlighted a beautiful place, but neither the images nor the design reflected the intimate, luxury and special moments Luxe Homes were supposed to offer to the customers. In order to improve the overall Airbnb Luxe customer experience, I created an 8-image grid, combining vertical and horizontal photographs. With the grid approach, I was able to tell each home’s story by focusing on architectural features, detail moments, or high-end interior designs. The design approach was quickly used by other teams and set a strong new editorial tone for the company. Bringing the product to life by adding a storytelling element was a great success for Luxe and was quickly adopted by other business units in Airbnb, like Experiences and Airbnb Plus.
Parallel to the product page design, I created Photo Art direction and Retouching Guidelines on how to capture and edit luxury homes. Based on the goal for Luxe, the “real estate approach” needed to be broken. The intention wasn’t just to capture each room, and provide the guest with information, the goal was to create a feeling unique to each home, each region. I outlined a detailed guide for vendors and internal photographers to allow them to successfully capture properties based on a new approach. New, company-wide benchmarks of home photography were produced by my team. Those benchmarks were also used to level up quality for Marketplace and Airbnb Plus.
Providing images to the PR and marketing team and mentoring designers by giving feedback on their design approach for email marketing was a great effort to make the Luxe launch even more successful. We had more than 1,000 articles in 3 days talking about Airbnb Luxe. Our daily product views went from 4,500 to over 200,000. The Airbnb Luxe launch was one of the most successful launches in Airbnb history.
Creative Director: Ekin Seker
Art Director: Julia (Sperling) Van Arsdale
Lead Designer: John Yum
Product Manager: Brian Phillips