Airbnb Search & Nearby

Product & Design Direction · UI/UX Design · Prototyping

With millions of unique listings around the world, finding the perfect place to stay can be a challenge. The search experience should provide the necessary information, filters, and features for guests to narrow down the results, while preventing them from overfiltering. I've recently worked on updating this experience by allowing more flexibility in the ways guests search. This includes being flexible with destination, dates, and filters.

Desktop screenshot of an Airbnb search results page with listings and a map of Los Angeles
New inline filter bar with the price filter open

Staying nearby

At the onset of the pandemic international travel halted. Guests shifted their focus from far off destinations to dreaming of a nearby getaway. They had also shifted from knowing exactly which city they wanted to visit to being more open to anything within a few hours drive. I led the design of the new nearby search results page and filters, providing guests a more flexible, browse based experience.

We introduced suggested destinations throughout the guest's search journey. These suggestions were based on the guest's location, travel trends, and past searches. Nearby search launched as part of the Go Near campaign in June 2020.

Screenshot of Airbnb search input view with list of destinations and travel distances
Nearby destinations within search auto-suggest
Screenshot of a nearby search results page with two sections showing unique stays in South Lake Tahoe and Carmel-by-the-Sea
Nearby destinations and drive times within search results
The stays highlighted showed the style of listings in each destination provided
Screenshot of filters featuring a driving distance limit a list of destinations such as beach, river, and mountain
New filters for travel distance and location type

Flexible search

In early 2021, we expanded flexible search to include dates and filters. I collaborated on the new inline filter bar that allows quick access to the most important filters. I also simplified the IA and layout of the filters panel by combining similar sections, updating the components, and adding visual clarity.

These features were part of Airbnb's 2021 announcement and will be rolling out to all guests throughout the summer.

A screenshot of Airbnb's search results page with a map of Los Angeles and a list of places to stay
New inline filter bar
A screenshot of the type of place with checkboxes for entire place, private room, and more
Specific filter modal
A screenshot of Airbnb's search results page with the entire place filter selected
Selected filter in filter bar and updated results

Smart search

Along with the UI and UX design, I worked with Data Scientists and Content Strategists to develop the logic for which filters are shown in the filter bar and the order within the filters sheet. We used a combination of what's popular within destination, what filters are unique within the destination, and the guest's previous searches.

To avoid overfiltering, we also introduced fuzzy matching, which shows listings just outside the guest's search parameters, for example it's only a few dollars more per night or is missing one amenity.

A screenshot of the full filter view including filters for number of beds, bedroom, and bathrooms
Unified search filter sheet
Simplified design and IA
A screenshot of the accessibility filters including checkboxes for have no stays or steps to enter, disabled parking spots, and more
Simplified accessibility filters
Clearer filters also allows more hosts to accurately mark their stay
A screenshot of search results that shows a line below the listing, Missing: Price < $140
Fuzzy matching results
Results just outside the guest's filters are shown at the end of the page

Role and team

  • Position

    Staff Experience Designer
  • Company

  • Year

  • Design, Content, and Research

    Edwin D, Vibha B, David M, Madelyn T, Fran K
  • Product and Marketing

    Tyler S, Tim W, Andrea C
  • Engineering

    Caroline L, Aditya P, Spike B, Casey K, and many more

More projects

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Airbnb Arrival Guide