Airbnb Split Payment
For this personal project, I partnered with one designer over three months to integrate split payment function into existing Airbnb iOS app, per user research and business intent.

Project Overview
The goal is to enhance the user experience of booking accommodation as a group. Currently, only individuals can book accommodation and encourage their friends or colleagues to pay them back after payment is made. I'd like to make it easier for groups of people to split the cost of an Airbnb when traveling together.

Solution
Design a feature that allows users to split the total cost of a trip and provide a seamless experience that does not affect users' current task flow with the platform.
Research
I conducted a survey utilizing Google Forms, with participation from 12 individuals representing diverse demographics, including gender, age, and location. From this survey, I identified several key factors to emphasize.Conducting this survey allowed me to gather current users and non-users on insights of collecting payments through splitting payments.
1. The majority of respondents, consulting 53.8%, prefer choosing customized payment amounts for each individual.

2. The usual group size tends to be relatively modest, with 38.5% preferring to equally split the cost amongst their group.

Affinity Mapping
Recognizing the need for a structured approach to analyze diverse user feedback gathered through surveys, I utilized affinity mapping. This method allowed me to distill insights, identify patterns, and organize key themes, enabling a comprehensive understanding of user perspectives. This approach was instrumental in making informed design decisions by uncovering common pain points and user preferences.
Ideate
After consolidating my research, I engaged in a brainstorming session to devise a split payment feature aimed at enhancing user utility, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly experience.
While the implementation demands considerable effort, the potential impact of this feature justifies the investment. By encouraging users to create accounts for seamless cost splitting within groups, it has the dual benefit of improving both retention and acquisition. Users, in turn, stand to gain by reducing individual costs and ensuring equitable sharing before confirming a booking.

User Task Flow
Centering on the split payment feature, I developed streamlined User and Task flows to ensure a user-friendly and efficient experience, focusing on the step-by-step processes for seamless integration.​​​​​​​
Design
Initial hi-fi frames
In opting to forgo low or mid-fi wireframes and proceeding directly to full visual high-fidelity mockups, I intentionally diverged from Airbnb's standard UI design.
This choice was made to introduce a distinct visual identity for the split payment feature, deviating from Airbnb's simplicity while ensuring a clear and intuitive user experience within this customized element. By embracing a unique design approach, the aim was to enhance the user's interaction and understanding specifically within the context of the split payment feature, providing a differentiated and purposeful design solution.
Testing
Usability test #1
I conducted a usability test with 5 Airbnb users. While most tasks were completed within the designated timeframe, users experienced confusion, particularly around split payments and their functionality. Post-testing, it became evident that adjustments to wording and screen displays were necessary to provide more informative context. Users also expressed dissatisfaction with the UI, stating that it felt like a separate app. Additionally, I gathered feedback to assess how well the new feature was implemented and if it seamlessly integrated with the existing user interface.

Key takeaways
1. Users encountered confusion, particularly related to split payments and their functionality during the accommodation booking process.
2. Adjustments to wording and screen displays are essential to provide clearer and more informative context for users.
3. Users expressed dissatisfaction with the UI, describing it as feeling like a separate app.
4. Further iterations are needed to enhance the user experience and address concerns related to split payments and overall UI integration.

Iterations
With the feedback I got from the usability testing, I iterated based on Airbnb’s current UI and stayed strictly to the flow.
In the redesign of the screens, my primary focus was on mitigating the confusion and dissatisfaction that users experienced, particularly concerning the split payment functionality in the initial design. To achieve this, I strategically adhered to Airbnb's current UI design, leveraging its established framework and user familiarity. By aligning with the existing design language, the intention was to address the initial confusion comprehensively. This approach not only maintained a cohesive visual experience for users but also aimed to enhance usability and overall satisfaction with the split payment process within the application. The decision to stay consistent with Airbnb's UI design was rooted in providing users with a seamless and intuitive experience, ensuring a positive and user-friendly interaction with the split payment screens.
Usability test #2
Due to significant alterations in the screen flow, I recognized the necessity to test the updated iteration. I enlisted the help of previous users and included two additional participants in the testing process. Using the same tests, I adjusted the success metrics to evaluate the improved efficiency in task completion and reduction in confusion achieved by the new iteration.

Key takeaways
1. Recognizing the need for usability testing following major changes to the screen flow.
2. Involving both previous and additional users in the testing process.
3. Utilizing the same tests to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the new iteration.
4. Adjusting success metrics to measure improvements in task completion and reduction in user confusion.

The second iteration demonstrated significantly improved effectiveness in facilitating how users discover and book listings. The UI maintained consistency and offered easy navigation, providing users with the appropriate context on how to proceed.
Taking the feedback from the test into consideration, I refined the wording and layout, making minor improvements to the overall design.

Reflections
Final Thoughts
In general, I am highly satisfied with the successful integration of the new feature. It seamlessly harmonizes with Airbnb's existing user experience and interface. I am confident that this addition could significantly enhance the app's appeal, potentially propelling Airbnb to the top choice for both solo and group travelers.
One of my primary goals at the outset of this project was to adhere to the defined scope and meet the course project timeframe. Even though I had to iterate the designs based on user responses to the look and feel on the current UI. I worked promptly to stay within the time frame I was given.

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