Tracks: Research Foundations

Amplifying insights from underrepresented users to build more inclusive products.

Airbnb brings together thousands of people from different backgrounds in over 191 countries everyday. Research has surfaced heartwarming stories of travelers and hosts experiencing lifelong bonds and magical experiences. However, research is also helping us learn where the product needs to evolve to scale inclusion for a global community—and how we might do that better.

What can we, as researchers, do to proactively include and amplify the experiences of underrepresented users who don’t feel a sense of belonging? This talk will look at the gap between how underrepresented users experience products vs. the general population, and how this gap can help to guide where efforts should be focused to make products more inclusive. It will dive into case studies and practices we can adopt in research to build better, more inclusive products that aim to provide equal access for everyone, and the ways in which Airbnb is tackling inclusivity at scale.

Nanako Era.

Experience Researcher, Airbnb

Nanako works on the anti-discrimination and in-home accessibility teams as an experience researcher at Airbnb. In this role (which she considers her dream job), she works to find ways for all users to have equal access on the platform, and limit biases from creeping in to users’ decision making processes. Her passion for equal access through technology was initially sparked when she took an assistive technologies class at Carnegie Mellon while pursuing her masters in human-computer interaction. Prior to Airbnb and making the pivot to becoming a researcher, she worked as a UX designer at small startup companies in Seattle.