I have noticed that big players (like luxuryretreats, airbnb..) of the global market follow a specific process when a user choose guests on the filter tab.

Specifically, if the user chooses 5 guests, the results that he/she will see are 5+ and sorted from min-max. So he/she will see first all the villas with 5 guests and the 6,7,8 up to the maximum number of guests rather than just results that match the criteria provided by the user.

Is there a rationale for this that relates to improving the user experience, as the user has chosen that he would like to see villas with 5 guests and not 5 an more?

Thank you for your time in advance. enter image description here

It makes a lot of sense if we consider the fact that villas could most likely host 6 guests, logically they would have 3 beds not 2 beds and a couch.

In this particular case having a filter of 5 guests might limit the results a lot. So they do this so you can have other options close to your option. It helps them & in some cases it helpes you.

There is though a thin line between helping the user and confusing him. A lot of search bars in websites display some random results if what you are searching is not found. Or for ecommerce they have filters that works the oposite of Airbnb that makes things difficult to filter. I find that not very user friendly.

  • First of all I understand that all the actions have to help and make the experience of the user excellent. So, the flexibility of the filter is ok and clear, but I think that is a good practice to set up a limit of the scale, what I mean is that if you choose 5 guests not to shown you also the villa that support 20 guests, but to set up a limit to +-5 guests in order to be more relevant to your need. – Angelos Oct 11 at 8:42
  • True. Unfortunately I cannot find any study on this subject. But making a filter like the number of guests from choosing a number to choosing a range might complicate things for the user, but I have no ideea what the impact would be positive or not... – Zasul Oct 11 at 10:08

I could not find any references to support my claims, so I will try to explain my reasoning. I believe that sites do this for mostly 3 reasons, two of them from the user perspective and the other from a commercial perspective.

TL:DR In all cases the user requires the villa to house a minimum of 5 guests so bigger villa's also cover this requirement.

Selling the experience

I do not have any experience with 'luxuryretreats' but I do have experience with AirBNB. Both website's try to sell an experience to the user, they wish to create the best holiday experience.

For instance, when I select a villa for 5 guest. 4 of the 5 guest will probably sleep on a real bed, while the 5th will sleep on a make shift bed (probably a sofabed). When I go on a holiday I find the quality of sleep to be extremely important. So when I see a villa for 5 having a sofabed, I am more likely to select a villa for 6 because that one does not have a sofabed.

Other reasons for selling a better experience are of course that a 6 person villa will probably have more space in the villa, maybe a bigger garden etc.

Other filters are also important

So as you asked in your comment, why should AirBNB show villa's that offer a lot more rooms while I just need 5 beds? This is because other filters can/might be extremely important for the user.

For instance, I might find a certain location extremely important. If I can find an AirBNB villa at that location, even if it is more expensive I might still book it.

The filter options are just there to match the minimum requirements, as a company you should not judge what is important or not for your users. AirBNB just offers the possible villa's that match your requirement. I believe that not showing a possible result is worse then showing a result that is not the best fit but does adhere to the users requirements.

Larger villa might be cheaper

While not in most cases, a villa for 6 can be cheaper because it is just outside an expensive district or maybe just a bit further from the city center.

The users requirement is that the villa can house a minimum of 5 guests, so a villa for 6 will also fulfill that requirement. But because the villa is outside the city center the villa might be just a bit cheaper. This gives the user a chance to safe money and have a better holiday experience.

Up-selling

Every company should offer the best user experience, however they still need to make money. A bigger villa might look better and thus the user selects that one, even if it is more expensive. This means the company behind the service is able to make more money while the user is still happy.

  • Thank you, Kevin, for your time and advice. I agree with your view overall and I believe that it is correct to show more villas that can host more than the selected number of users, from user experience perspective, but my real thought/question is why not to set up a limit to +-5 from the selected number? When the user sees a villa that host 20 guests may face a negative experience as he/she thinks that I chose 5 guests, this is irrelevant. – Angelos Oct 11 at 8:56
  • @Angelos I edited my answer, I tried to explain why AirBNB does this. The filter options are just there to match the minimum requirements, as a company you should not judge what is important or not for your users. AirBNB just offers the possible villa's that match your requirement. I believe that not showing a possible result is worse then showing a result that is not the best fit but does adhere to the users requirements. – Kevin M. Oct 11 at 9:15

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.