Bookiply allows home owners to distribute their vacation rentals on all major platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com and Holidu from one central application!

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The problem

Vacation home owners struggle when managing their vacation home on multiple platforms at the same time. Calendars don't sync, requirements are widely different across platforms, updates are all done manually, costing time and energy for mundane, repetitive tasks.

The opportunity

Create a solution that makes managing vacation homes on multiple platforms a pleasure, while increasing the homeowners' revenues!

What I did

At Bookiply, I lead product design on iOS, Android and Web. I also lead the major rebrand effort.

1. Start with research

When I first joined Bookiply, the team had built a bare-bones proof of concept that was tested in the market for validity. It worked! The idea was to allow vacation homeowners to publish and manage their properties on multiple vacation home platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com and Homeaway from one single product.

Although the idea was well received, the team didn't know what were the areas of improvement or what the next big thing should be. I started with a competitive analysis to understand the market offerings better, prototyped a quick mobile solution and hit the road to speak to some of our existing users as well as potential ones (in sales pitches).

Early stage compositions used in the first prototype for user testing

Early stage compositions used in the first prototype for user testing

The research was insightful and determining. I concluded the phase with list of crystal clear priorities that we needed to focus on in the upcoming months, including fixes, new features, an app and a new information architecture for the product. Plus 80% of our assumptions were proven wrong, including the assumption that our average user is a 70 years old woman that did not know how to use the internet. Not quiet!

The archetypes that represented our target audience are the following ones:

2. Brand design

Bookiply needed a brand! Desperately. Because until then, the product looked like this:

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Inspite of the proof of concept looking old and outdated, users saw value in it.

The brand design process started with a workshop with all main stakeholders to define the core values of the company. The team produced mood boards, semantic maps and iterated for days on the perfect logo. At last, we had a logo that everyone was convinced about.

Final Bookiply logo design

Final Bookiply logo design

3. Product design

A strong and unified experience meshes together seamlessly. It was important for us to nail the logo before we can carry on with the design of the product.

The research had set the path so clearly, that we knew exactly what the next steps were. On the top of the list, we had "build an app" and "send me notifications". We built an MVP of the app with basic functionality and launched it within a few months. We then continued to build a full feature product and released a new version every 2 weeks. A few months later, we launched the web product and decommissioned the old one. Below you find screenshots of the real product.

Since the mobile app and desktop launched in May 2018, the user base of the product tripled at the time of writing (Aug 2018).

Growth and maintenance

In a fast growth setup it is critical to maintain a design language system that is scalable and in-line with developers needs. The design system I put together helped the team increase speed, reduce conversation and focus on meeting our deadlines.

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Conclusion

I'm very happy to say that Bookiply has set a new benchmark for products in it's category. As it continues to grow and attract more customers, it will become more relevant and hopefully help the lives of many many more homeowners.

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Thanks for reading.


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