Why Airbnb’s UI is frustrating for picking your favourite

And how I get around it.

I need to compare airbnb’s better, but airbnb has missed this step. I am making something to fix it until airbnb do.


I love airbnb. It is a beautiful idea that is making access to accommodation so much better, directly and indirectly.

Moreover, it is a beautiful experience. Easy search, easy filtering, great visual workflow of decisions and super easy representations of changing decisions:

Airbnb focus on your decision making process

The problem

When searching for things, we tend to work in a double diamond model:

Source: Design Council

WTF am I looking at?

I know what a crap diagram. Let me try:

When we look for options, we look at a lot of things. We pick a selection of possibles. We relook at the possibles, now with context of what is possible. Then we reduce them down to make a pick.

TL;DR: Look, throw the crap, learn the rest, pick the best.

Airbnb nails:

  • The look — it is really easy to see options
  • Throw the crap — quickly see what you like
  • Learn the rest — seeing the details on the page

It fails on picking the best.

How do you pick the best?

Well… airbnb doesn’t really know.

You can jump through the tabs, I guess…

You could save the places your interested in to a wishlist? I like this! But it is in the wrong place. It should be naturally appearing in my search — not a side feature. Plus it also doesn’t allow me to add details. There is info I will find that is helpful. I want to add notes, thoughts, ratings and more!

Come on airbnb! I love you but please do better!

My solution

Putting it in a table — a ‘that’ll do’ approach for now…


I am building compairbnb to help do this.

It’ll be a simple chrome extension. It will give you data. It will let you add data.

This is all to fix the last part of the double triangle.

Sign up to the beta here:

Follow me on twitter for updates @AlexCharlesGoff

Focused on saving our time: everyhour.xyz for your life balance; tree-meals-a-day.earth for our food emissions and compairbnb.info/hello for booking airbnbs.