Product: Dating app
Role: UX + UI Designer
For: Student project
I designed Woo for my UX Immersion course project with CareerFoundry. Encouraged to create my own brief, I decided to tackle something that could really use some fixing: dating apps.
Online dating is the worst.
Yet we keep trying—for a quarter century century now. From Match to Tinder and beyond, app designers and users have been searching for the perfect way to meet people. So, why is it still so frustrating?
According to the Pew Research Center:
One-third of US adults use dating apps and websites—yet most report having negative experiences on a regular basis.
7 in 10 online daters say it is very common for others to lie in order to appear more desirable.
54% of online daters say they don’t receive enough messages from people they’re interested in.
By building a brand that is smart, sex-positive, and encouraging, an app can attract a self-selecting audience of like-minded users.
By providing the right tools—such as video chat, smart algorithms, and well-crafted prompts—users can overcome the hurdle of online representation and choose their dates more wisely.
I want an easier way to meet compatible matches and get an authentic sense of who they are.
—Every dating app user ever
Risk + Opportunity
The primary risk for any new dating app is that it will fail to capture enough of the market dominated by products with name recognition. However, a huge opportunity lies in harnessing the backlash against these apps, which seem to force us to choose: hookup or marriage? The right product will fill the void between user expectations and rewarding experiences.
I conducted an online survey in order to better understand behavior and pain points around online dating. The majority agreed cited personality representation as a major issue with online dating.
To expand on these findings, I conducted video interviews with five of the survey respondents. We discussed how they use online dating, their successes and disappointments, and the ways in which apps on the market could better serve their needs.
From those interviews, I developed four key personas and three primary user flows as the basis of my subsequent ideation.
Sketches + Wireframes
Dating apps are unique, in that the user is also the product and the content. The personality of the app and the audience will inform one another. It's crucial that the brand voice set the tone from the start, attracting a self-selecting, discerning audience and building a community where like-minded users can find one another.
Building on my hypotheses and user insights, I set to work creating a brand that is:
Approachable: We use casual, everyday language that makes users feel at home.
Sex-Positive: We have healthy, progressive attitudes toward dating and sex.
Dryly Witty: We speak with a wink and smile. It's a dating app, after all.
Encouraging: We inspire action without being pushy.
Verb: to pursue the affection of another.
Interjection: expressing joy.
Armed with my first full-color, clickable prototype, I conducted a round of moderated usability tests with six subjects.
GOAL: Assess whether first-time users understand the app, its value, and how to complete basic functions: Swiping, Text Chatting, Video Chatting, and updating personal Profiles.
FINDINGS: All participants completed the tasks, found the app easy to use, and expressed having a positive experience with it.
ISSUES: Those unfamiliar with Tinder were uncertain of how to "like" someone, while some participants were confused about certain navigation icons.
CONCLUSION: I determined that an effective onboarding process would answer the most pressing user questions.
After revisions based on user and peer feedback, iOS and Material Design considerations, and WGAC accessibility guidelines, I arrived at my 12th and most glorious iteration.