The next generation of the home rental firm Airbnb’s products and services will now be designed by Sir Jony Ive who led designing at Apple Inc for the company’s IMac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
With the struggling San Francisco company attempting to convince its customers to travel again despite the pandemic, responsibility of redesigning Airbnb’s website and app has also been entrusted on Ive, who left the job of Apple’s chief design officer in 2019.
A multiyear “special collaboration” has been signed by Airbnb with Ive’s design company LoveFrom, said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive. The same belief about the value and importance of creativity and design was shared between him and Ive, Chesky said.
“We each believe not only in making objects and interfaces, but in crafting services and experiences,” Chesky wrote in a blogpost. “We’ve seen how design can facilitate trust and enable more human connection, something people are desperate for during an unprecedented time of loneliness and disconnection.
“We have made the decision to work together through a multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services.”
Chingford, east London, born Ive was knighted for services to design and enterprise in 2012. After having joined Apple in 1992, he headed the design team of the company from 1996 till he left the company in 2019.
With the pandemic preventing a very large number of people from travelling, Airbnb has faced a tough time during thee pandemic. The company now expects to sale revenues for the current year to be less than half of what it had generated in 2019 and as such had laid off about 25 per cent of its staff in May this year.
“We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill,” Chesky said in an internal memo at the time. “Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what we earned in 2019.”
After having almost finalised its debut at the stock market, Airbnb had to put off the launch of its IPO while also being forced to slash the price. The stock market debut would set the value of the company at up to $42bn, some investors had hoped even though it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the company had made a loss of almost $320m in the first nine months of last year.
While filing confidential IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission in August, the company had not disclosed any details of the size of the IPO, the expected price or the time frame of the launch.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)