Thursday, September 15, 2016

A new way to plan your trip: Introducing the Airbnb iMessage App

If you plan a trip today using our mobile app and iMessage, your experience will most likely look like this. You find a beautiful place to stay:

You share it via SMS:

And when you do, you end up with something like this:

The experience with iOS 10
We started out looking to define the grand vision of planning your Airbnb trip within Messages — what would that look like on this new platform? Over the course of just a few weeks before the iOS 10 release, our team rapidly prototyped on a variety of ideas. We started with countless drawings and mockups of possible features, and as we became more familiar with the possibilities and limitations of the Messages Framework, a product began to form. Once we had something we could use, a group iMessage thread between engineers, designers, and product managers allowed us to quickly discover the features we wanted — a rather meta approach. At this point, we had an iMessage app where people could share homes between friends and view key details about the accommodation.

A key decision in this process was determining which listings to present. Conveniently, Airbnb already has two great ways to organize listings: Wish Lists and recently viewed listings. We leveraged existing resources to build these into the iMessage app.

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