The Airbnb team developed a five-principle approach to designing the experience for property owners and guests during the Covid pandemic. These principles were established to address the challenges, anxiety, and trauma that users might experience during this critical period.
Safety: The foremost priority is the safety of the users, both physical and psychological. Airbnb understands the stress and anxiety associated with the pandemic and so, values creating a safe and secure environment above anything else. They aim to make their users feel safe, providing reassurance and reducing the sense of vulnerability that can come from such unpredictable circumstances.
Transparency: This principle centers on clarity and openness in communication. The platform aims to provide detailed, step-by-step explanations of processes, transactions, and expected outcomes. This is crucial for those who might struggle with concentration or focus due to their traumatic experiences. By offering clarity, Airbnb hopes to alleviate anxiety and provide users with a sense of predictability and control in a situation that often feels uncertain.
The Right to Choose: Airbnb believes in empowering its users with the ability to make their own choices. When listing a property, hosts have the option to specify whether they’re open to hosting refugees, asylum seekers, or those affected by natural disasters. This principle provides flexibility and control to hosts, enabling them to make informed decisions that align with their comfort level and capacity.
Reciprocity: This principle is about promoting dialogue and collaboration. Airbnb encourages its customer service representatives to engage in empathetic, two-way conversations with clients. Instead of merely presenting options, they invite clients to participate in the decision-making process, fostering a partnership that respects the autonomy of those in crisis and enables shared problem-solving.
Equality: The final principle underscores the importance of equal treatment for all users, regardless of their circumstances. Airbnb believes in maintaining a non-discriminatory platform where those in crisis are not treated differently or unfairly. Everyone has equal access to services and support, reinforcing the platform’s commitment to inclusivity and fairness.
By adhering to these principles, Airbnb seeks to provide a respectful, empathetic, and supportive experience for all users during challenging times. They recognize the diverse needs of their user base and strive to address these needs with sensitivity and understanding.