Sabbatical Homes serves a unique niche as the airbnb for academics looking to rent or stay on sabbaticals. While many of the same features; searching for a home, comparing potential properties and communicating with the lister seem the same, we discovered this group has many distinctive needs. Diving headlong into these unique needs we teamed up with their leadership and development teams to redesign the entire user experience, brand, and user interface for the organization.

Competitor Review

Starting with a review of the online rental space we broke down the competition and analog industry examples to understand common experience and interface themes. This allowed us to establish what themes and elements were best practices or expected vs. areas we wanted to be innovative with and explore new approaches.


Working thru a process of moodboards, wireframing, user testing, UI design, refinement, and design execution, we kept a focus on their end users who want a visual and deeply engaging experience to find and reserve their sabbatical home away from home. We did extensive work refining the flow to reduce the number of screens and allow the user to engage with their host quickly. Special attention was given to the overall tone of the site, striving for a reassuring, sophisticated and friendly feel throughout.


An extensive UI style guide and standards doc was produced spanning from colors, buttons and padding, to typography, grids and error states. This core UI Kit established a common set of standards and assets to build out the specific sections and pages of the site.