Love Home Swap is a SaaS travel product owned by Travel + Leisure Co. which provides an alternative route to hotels or Airbnb's for travelling accommodation.
Inspired from ‘The Holiday’, the product aims to connect two users and provide them with the means to swap their homes for any period of time. Users are able to either swap at the same time as each other, or use a unique currency attached to the users account. They are able to gain the currency (called Points) by giving up their home or vacation home to another user, gaining Points each night their home is occupied.
This idea for this project started when we received an email from one of our users.
The email stated that the user used to be an avid member of Love Home Swap, going on frequent swaps with his family but had an accident on his bicycle and was now unable to use his legs.
The existing solution on Love Home Swap had a wheelchair accessible ‘home feature’ that users were able to filter by. After speaking to users and non-users with mobility needs, it became clear that they need detailed information and pictures from the other party.
One of the most insightful themes that was raised during discussions was that those with mobility needs would require different things to one another, and what would work for one user might not work for the next. Participants said they didn’t need to know that the whole property was kitted out per the ADA standards, instead they just wanted to know all the information so that they could make a rational decision based upon their own requirements.
When researching competitors, we found there was a gap in the market as other home swapping services weren’t offering this for their users. Whilst Airbnb did have detailed accessibility information that was available on their property page, they didn’t have the inventory that would be sufficient for disabled users.
We were able to speak with a product manager called Srin, who created the solution for Airbnb but had since left the business. We were able to discuss the issues that he encountered when developing this solution themselves and plan accordingly.
The aim of the workshop was to gain a strong understanding of the journey that we want to implement, the goals of the project and ideas of how we would address some of the users pain points that were raised during discovery.
During the workshop, we created some HMW’s that would assist us when developing outcomes.
How might we gather enough inventory to give those with mobility disabilities choice for deciding where they want to spend their vacation.
How might we enable users (who aren’t familiar with accessibility) to add accessibility details to their property.
How might we ensure that users are uploading high-quality information and photos to their property details.
Going into testing, we hypothesised that:
Users would be incentivised by the 200 points that would go into their account upon completion.
If users can understand our instructions, they will provide high-quality imagery that matches our criteria for verification.
Users will find it beneficial to have an audio guide to complement them through the walkthrough.
Upon conducting virtual field studies, we uncovered a number of themes that were causing friction for the participants:
Based on the themes that were discovered during testing, we implemented numerous changes to the prototype, to name some of the key changes that were actioned:
Removed the audio guide as users weren’t interested with interacting with this feature.
Adjusted copy to be applicable for international users e.g. showing measurements in both metric and imperial
Simplified and stripped back the copy in areas participants were comfortable in, whilst giving the option to get more details on complex points.
Added in celebratory slides in between sections and at the end to motivate users
Increased the points incentive upon completion to 300 Points.
However, there is still potential for continual improvement of this feature, by utilising Hotjar and data analytics, we can undercover patterns in usage which would help to inform us the changes that must be made to the product.