Striving for Inclusive Design At Airbnb

Source: Benjamin Earl Evans’ blog

 

Overview

An incident of racism while using the Airbnb app, led Benjamin Evans to set a design challenge to tackle the platforms’s race problem.  Evan’s is the current Design Lead for the Anti-Discrimination Team, which the company has created to foster inclusive design and to combat discrimination, both within their company and with the hosts that use their platform. 

 

Process

  • Started with empathy and needfinding
  • Conducted user research and developed personas for two sub-sets of users: guests of color (GCs) and hosts who discriminate (HDs)
  • User research, including interviews with both groups, led to insights and the creation of two problem statements
  • Through ideation, prototyping and testing identified a system for inclusion called the three E’s: empathy, education and exposure

 

Results/Outcome

The result of this design exercise was the creation of a conceptual framework for change for any type of discrimination. While there is no simple solution to systemic racism, this is a flexible framework that can be used and adapted to create a system of inclusion.