With ambitions to redefine hospitality, Sonder provides places to stay with award-winning interiors, hotel-like amenities, and mobile-first service in over 30 cities around the world. Having internally completed a new visual brand edit and refined messaging pillars, the Sonder team had the objective to quickly infuse their homepage with this new Brand DNA through more visual and vibrant storytelling.
Working together in a design sprint lasting 2 weeks, we focused on increasing comprehension, driving new perceptions of the Sonder brand, and holding conversion consistent with the current live homepage.
Before kicking off, we were already intimately involved with the Sonder team. We conducted a robust audience segmentation study which yielded a comprehensive 360-degree profile of Sonder’s target audience. Throughout this study we did extensive user research to ground ourselves in a deep understanding of how people viewed Sonder.
What we learned was that people were confused by the previous homepage. Some thought it was for renting office space (“Yeah, this is like a WeWork, right?”), or buying furniture, or renting an apartment from an amateur. Others thought it was very expensive. Few understood the brand or its mission.
In our exploration phase, we wanted to make sure we told Sonder’s story through its unique buildings and bookable spaces. We were really inspired by Sonder’s focus on design and culture through the harmonization of architecture, furniture, and art. More specifically, we wanted to communicate how the team tries to enhance the local culture and vibrancy of every city it operates in by revitalizing historical buildings, all while honoring the authenticity of them, marrying the old with the new, to retain the unique attributes of the city. We wanted to bring forward this story within the homepage narrative along with communicating its other key value propositions. Additionally we made sure to have numerous entry points into search and provide passive learning for the user by exposing collections of listing cards with prices and neighborhood/city cards throughout.
With some quick user testing of our homepage prototype, we found that the new design increased product comprehension and decreased misperceptions of Sonder’s offering. It also increased appeal with users saying they were “very likely to book” after seeing the page, and boosted Sonder’s brand perceptions with users, which helped them understand the advantages of Sonder over its competitors. After launching, the Sonder team also found the new homepage increased conversion.
“Overall, the new homepage is a big win. It’s a huge win from a brand perspective. Additionally, traffic is up 30-40%… and conversion is up, too. This is a great outcome.”
-Nick Vitiello, Senior Product Manager
Collaboration at it’s finest
Special thanks to the Sonder team:
Francis Davidson: Co-founder & CEO
Matt Judge: VP, Design and Experience
Nicholas Vitiello: Senior Product Manager
Jim Nist: Senior Engineering Manager
Courtney Song : Design Manager
Ryan Scott: Brand Designer
Kevin Hsieh: Director of Product Design
Stéphane Colas: Director of Product Management
Stephanie Collet Zureich: General Manager, Munich
Julia Doan: Product Designer
Amy Bebbington: Brand Operations Lead
Sarah Hunter: Photography Operations Lead
Eueddem Kim: Senior Software Engineer
Ryan Mcdonald: Senior Software Engineer
CōLab team: Ben Chute, Yu Rong, Liza Dunning, Jason Mamaril