HomeAway Case Study

Case study of new features to the HomeAway app for iOS


Project: Case Study

Roles: UX/UI Design, Research, Visual Design

Duration: 2 weeks

homeway app


I am a fan of the HomeAway app and its simplicity to book a property. I did however see a potential in adding some features. The features I explored are adding nearby attractions or sites to the property and a sorting function while browsing available listings.


Various steps to explore the app functions, pain points, delights, and possible added features.


I looked at the app first as a user who was aiming to book a property for a vacation. Currently, the app flow is the following:

User Story

"As a traveler I want to experience a city the way the locals do."

User Flow

  • I want to book a vacation
  • I want to go to the Colosseum in Rome
  • I want to stay in a home
  • I want to spend between $150-$350 per night
  • I choose home based on filters and requirements
  • I explore images, location & overview
  • I check availability
  • I book

Pain Point / Missed Opportunity

The Overview Section

When exploring a property, the overview section is lacking. The opportunity here is to show the user the perks of the property in order to confirm that the property is worth booking. There is a map that shows where the property is, but it is very small.

Browsing Listings

Through testing and conducting user interviews, there was frustration when browsing. Even after one set all the available filters, there seemed to be a lack of reason or order to how each property was listed. According to users, a sorting or categorizing function would help make the experience not only more logical, but would help travelers browse smarter.

current app overview & browsing sections


I propose a feature that allows the user to see the benefits of the property and further entice users to book. The overview currently allows for a description, which is good, but there is potential for a better experience. By adding images, the user can get a quick visual of what is nearby. These images could be of nearby attractions, restaurants, and transit systems.

For the browsing section I propose a sorting function that enables users to organize how listings are viewed. The options to view listings through a sorting function would allow more control when booking. Sorting by price, location, and popularity are just a few examples.

wireframe sketch of visual overview


Showing More in the Overview

Through visual cues and implementing the yelp or google api, the overview section has the potential to display attractions that are in close proximity to the property. To start, basic categories would be displayed. This is not intended to be a complete yelp integration, just use the api to bring in relevant information that would sell the property better.

click to see full image

New Feature Mockup: Nearby Attractions in Overview

The new feature shows nearby attractions to the property to enhance the overview.

  • Listed attractions based on categories
  • Ratings generated by Yelp
  • Description of attraction

Once you click on the attraction the next page shows:

  • Map with property & attraction proximity based on various modes of transportation
  • More images from Yelp users

iOS app mockup

Enabling a Sorting Function

The ability to sort listings by various categories provides more options and a controlled browsing experience. When planning and booking a trip users could refine their priorities and search for properties how they see fit. The ability to group or categorize listings creates order and logic.

This example shows a location based sorting method. It takes into consideration the proximity to an attraction and lists each property from nearest to farthest.

Smart sorting feature wireframes

New Feature Mockup: Sort Listings

The property images show the selected sorting category - i.e. ".25 mi." The new feature enables users to sort listing by the following.

  • Location - Proximity to a desired attraction or neighborhood
  • Price
  • User ratings / Popularity

Once you click on the sorting icon:

  • A list appears for you to choose how to sort
  • There is potential to refine and select multiple categories
  • More images from Yelp users
new sorting feature mockup

iOS app mockup with new sorting feature


I am fully aware of the complexity of these added features. As I stated in the beginning, this case study only explores the user, consumer facing app. There would need to be another case study of the property owner and management app to explore how these features wold be integrated. These types of features would have to be put through testing to determine if the feature is worth the cost.


Project description

This is a case study of the HomeAway consumer facing app. This case study aims to explore features that improve the user experience when booking a property. This is a fictitious study, and I have not been asked to conduct this study by HomeAway. This is for exploration purposes only.

Previous Next