Working on the host tools for our Agoda Homes app users, one of the question that kept us busy was – how to design the app in a way that could support 2 types of users: hosts with a single property and hosts with more than one properties?
When we began to build the app, the decision made was that we need to design and develop a single experience to account for both type of those users.
Unlike the desktop version, we believed a single solution should be suffice as the use cases and scenarios for the usage of the app for both type of users were quite similar.
The context of using the app vs the desktop version (as we learned from our user researches) could be grouped into the umbrella concept of immediate tasks completions such as checking messages and replying to conversation with guests or updating single days for availability and pricing on the calendar for example.
Object oriented vs Task oriented use cases
Talking with our users, we realized that some of the tasks could start with thinking about the property first and then thinking about the task that needed to be completed. On the other hand, we observed a different kind of mental model where users began by thinking about the task first, and then drilled down to a specific property which related to this task.
In other words we had two different use cases:
- Object oriented use case – flow begins by selecting a property and then completing a task. i.e, the context for users to check or update their calendar for availability, pricing or bookings on mobile will begin with a specific thing to do while on the go, or away from their personal computer. What they are not doing is using their mobile device for a calendar overview for all their properties.
- Task oriented use case – flow begins by starting with the task in mind, and only then selecting a specific property to complete it. i.e, users want to check all messages, regardless of the the property they are related to, and so the mental model for this task begins with the task in mind: checking messages, then drill down to a specific property.
Designing for multi task tools
The Agoda Homes host app is a multi task tool that provide our hosts users with everything they need to manage and control their properties. There could be many flows and interactions, and when we design for this kind of usage we really need to try to get inside the head of our users and understand their mental model and natural way of completing tasks.
Otherwise interactions can become cumbersome and frustrating hence harming the user experience, which could eventually lead to less engagement, and in some severe cases a complete abandonment of the product.
As you might guess, that’s really bad for the business. We count on our hosts as valued partners to provide the necessary inventory for our customers to choose from.
Understanding their unique needs and pain points is more than a design challenge, it is part of the business strategy to make sure we deliver delightful experiences that support our value proposition and help our partners to become successful and our customers happy and satisfied.