Design that doesn’t scale

Design that doesn’t scale

In today's world companies have a keen desire to launch products with the goal of worldwide scale. Indeed, many global companies design products that address billions of people across the world. Often, in order to accomplish this, they design for "users" in general. This makes perfect sense considering their ability to drive revenue by delivering a product that meets everyone's general needs. But the solutions often end up feeling generic and commoditized. People don't love them, but they bear with them to get their job done. 

At Airbnb, we've taken an alternative approach. We start with a vision for the ideal experience people will love done in a way that authentically reaffirms our brand. From the app to marketing to merchandising to real-world services we provide, we take the time and care needed to tell a story as compelling as it is honest. We iterate internally to build to our vision, launch it, and then - if it works - we determine a path towards scaling. In other words, we design first for love, not for scale. 

In my talk, I'll dive into a number of projects where we designed for the ideal vs scale and provide a behind-the-scenes look into the work and the process that have supported a number of Airbnb's most recent products. We'll focus specifically on the design of Airbnb Experiences and Airbnb Plus, two products that have fundamentally shifted Airbnb's business into new verticals and market segments. The audience will see how we brought both products from concept to reality, how product design and our art/marketing department crafted the message, and how we evolved Airbnb’s brand in the process.



Speakers and Artists

Ethan Eismann Design Director of Product Experience at Über

Ethan Eismann Director of Design - Homes – Airbnb San Francisco, United States


Aotea Centre

50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland, New Zealand
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