design = business showcase series

the design = business series showcases the many ways in which design is being used today in business, to save us time, make our lives easier, and add convenience.

For the past number of decades the west has focused on technology and services. This has meant the focus on design has become less about objects, visuals and spaces, but about developing strategies, processes, experiences and systems that support how we live and work. To deliver simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability - the value added to the customer today. 

Image credit: Mike Marquez

Image credit: Mike Marquez

Showcase #1 Airbnb

Airbnb is an online marketplace which lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. This home and apartment rental service boasts over 10 million stays in 2017, an estimated $250 million. From aesthetics in soft furnishings to curating experiences and saving time on site, Airbnb is a great first example of how design is being used in business. 

The ways Airbnb is using design...

Delivering the kind of user experience that's intuitive and enjoyable requires a design strategy that puts the user experience at the heart of their service. Which is why searching listings on their site akin to flicking through a beautiful travel magazine. 

Image credit: Adrian Schwarz

Image credit: Adrian Schwarz

 

More recently they've started to enable people to add and curate experiences. This means when customers arrive to their chosen accommodation, they have places to go, things to see and activities to do. Curating these experiences makes easy work of arriving elsewhere but feeing at home, a home away from home, even on work trips. 

Image credit: Shangyou Shi

Image credit: Shangyou Shi

Airbnb hosts in the last number of years have demonstrated a clear understanding of the importance of designing experiences through aesthetics, furnishings and decor. Creating homes that have integrity to the places they're located in, and their surroundings. Amplifying experience of being elsewhere at every opportunity. 

 

What can we learn?

Increasingly design is being used business to solve all kind of problems and create great customer experiences, which with this particular service perhaps makes hard not to see. These companies give businesses so much to think about and learn from. Putting the customer at the heart of the business, walking through the experience from their perspective and keeping apace with the changes that are happening. Think about your customers, the journey they take, in finding your business, accessing your service and afterwards. What is the value being added? How and why? & Does it align to their needs, and of not how can that change? Design is way more than aesthetics even if we are left with the legacy of how it used to be.