AMA: Karri Saarinen, Designer - Creating Design Systems at Airbnb

almost 7 years ago from Karri Saarinen, Design System Lead at Airbnb

  • Karri SaarinenKarri Saarinen, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

    Hey Szymon,

    I'm great, thanks!

    airbnb it is a big community - definitly - and all design details are super important. How many tests you made before launched current version of website/app? (in meaning of A-B testing) Or maybe you always try to check something new and you testing all the time? Could you tell something about testing while working on that big project with that huge base of users like airbnb?

    I don’t have an exact number, but we definitely tested a lot, almost on weekly basis. We have excellent researches that come great plans, and summarize what the results mean. We often test with users onsite, and we can also run experiments on our apps. Generally we always still try to think what we want to design or improve. Testing or research, is always tool we can use, but cannot provide us all the answers.

    I have an idea for app - but I think it's could be useful to make mobile app and website - responsive of course. What do you think - it there sens to make two almost the same projects - one for web and one for mobile app? Is there any extra super profits in that case? We got 2016 - what I should design first? App + simple website or maybe website and next try to design app with no rush?

    I think it depends at lot on your app and your resources. Often websites are a great way to test the interest in general. You can come up with a simple launch page, that describes the product, and asks to people to sign up for beta. That way you can see if there is any interest on what you are building. This kind of testing is much harder or often impossible to do on mobile platforms.

    If you have the skills or resources, designing and building an app can work well too, but it can be more risky path.

    What is important when you work with that big base of users like airbnb (except UI/UX)? Maybe do you have some protips for designers - how to reach out for users or how to keep them close? I mean something like "oooh, always try to put little kitty everywhere" ;)

    I think one thing we try to keep in mind that Airbnb is used in many countries, by young and old, and with varying levels of technical skills. We make the product accessible to all of these people.

    Another thing we do is to try to be more human. We have great content folks, that help us create clear and friendly messaging. Simple things like instead of saying “Rate your trip” we ask “How was your trip?”

    2 points