Design Challenge

In the highly saturated market of dating apps, one startup aims to differentiate itself. Meddle is a new, free dating app that allows singles seeking relationships to have trusted friends help find someone for them.

 In a capstone project for a UX Design Immersive course at General Assembly, I worked with a team to streamline and optimize Meddle's app for iOS. The focus of our scope: onboarding tutorial and profile creation

Our team was provided with a one-page design prompt to help Meddle develop an onboarding process and optimize it for signups.  As quality profiles are critical to the success of any dating app, our team also reviewed Meddle's current profile creation process.      

 

 

Engagement

3-week Sprint
Freelance

 

Role

Project Management
User Research
Design Strategy
UI Design

Tools

Sketch
Hand Sketching
InVision

deliverables

Synthesized and Analyzed Research
Annotated Wireframes
Mockup Tutorial
Interactive Prototype


Methodology

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DISCOVERY


Stakeholder Interview

In order to start understanding the context of the challenge, we interviewed Meddle's CEO, our primary stakeholder for this project. We discussed the mission and business goals of Meddle, and delved into the challenges upon which they were presently focusing. During this meeting, we gained a better understanding of the audience Meddle was targeting. We learned that although the app was currently available for download for iOS and Android, it was primarily designed for desktop use. We discussed design constraints and set expectations. 


Evaluation of Existing App

To get an idea of what we were working with, I went through the process of creating an account and inviting Meddlers.

Findings

  • Application looks like a mobile site, not a native app
  • Very few fields are required in profile creation
  • Most items are open text fields without leader text (i.e.: education, not sure if they are seeking where or highest level completed)
  • Tutorial is a one-page diagram that is displayed after the sign up process is completed
  • Unclear on what happens once 'Meddler' invites have been sent out
  • Many user profiles are very sparse, many without any profile photos, some with just a name, age, and location without additional information
  • Difficulty viewing profile due to placement of "yes/no" button

User Research

Screener Survey

After discussing Meddle's matchmaking process with our stakeholder, it became clear that we would need to understand two separate user types: singles who are seeking relationships, and their friends, the Meddlers. In order to do this, we sent out two separate screener surveys, one asking about dating/online dating habits, the other targeting people who actively set up their friends in real life.  For the latter survey, we omitted any references to online dating as to best understand the behaviors and motivations behind matchmaking for your friends in real life.

Below are the key figures from each survey:

 

Online DATING:

91 Responses

79% have used a dating app

88% of online daters prefer mobile apps over desktop

48% have been set up by a friend before

Setting up friends:

23 Responses

62% are in a relationship

48% have set up a friend before

64% of those who have set up a friend have done so more than once

 

Interviews

From the 114 survey responses, we interviewed 15 people with the aim of learning more about their dating habits.  Again, for the purpose of keeping both user archetypes in mind, we kept single online daters separate from the matchmakers.

I look for Instagram-worthy photos. The point of a profile is to get a match, so they should invest their time on it.
— Online Dater
I create opportunities where friends can hang out but don’t put too much thought into it.
— Matchmaker

Competitive Analysis

While Meddle has an interesting differentiator, there are many competitors in the realm of dating apps. Using the information we gained from our screener survey, we determined that the biggest competitors were Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge. In our analysis, my primary focus was on the way these platforms onboard new users, and usability conventions such as the ability to swipe (not currently a capability on Meddle) and how user move through a profile.

 Bumble onboarding process

Bumble onboarding process


SYNTHESIZE & DEFINE


Business Goals

Using the information we gathered from our stakeholder interview and research and a follow up stakeholder meeting, we set the following KPI goals:

  • Increase the number of new single-user sign ups (marked by profile completion) by 15% within 4 months of change implementation
  • Increase the number of Meddler invite acceptances by 15% within 4 months of change implementation
  • Increase the average session duration (currently 1 min 22 sec for new users and 2 min 11 sec for returning users) by 50% within 4 months of change implementation

Affinity Mapping

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Key Trends:

Dating apps are weird, it’s an idealized version of everything so you end up being disappointed.
I appreciate it when people try to set me up, but I feel bad when we’re not compatible at all. I want the date to go well for me and my friend who set me up. There’s too much pressure when you’re set up.
  • Dating apps are used as a group activity for some. Many seekers will let their friends take their phones and swipe for them, or have their friends help them create their profiles. 
  • Single people avoid having their friends set them up in real life because it sets expectations and can feel like an obligation
  • A personal description/interests and well thought profile photos are important for well curated profile 

Proto Personas

For the purpose of our redesign, we needed to consider two separate user types, single people seeking a relationship, and their meddlers.  To incorporate our primary findings, we used the following two personas to inform our design:


UX Vision

Create a comprehensive, yet simple tutorial to educate both Seekers and Meddlers on how matches are made and to optimize the creation of thoughtful/ complete profiles throughout the signup process.

 

DESIGN


annotations

 

tutorial design

There are multiple factors that go into creating a match on Meddle. Our challenge was to create an onboarding tutorial that would educate users and enable them to easily use Meddle, without overburdening them with extraneous details.

Our first step was to break the process into four steps and create simple, clear copy.  After a round of sketching, we user tested sketches to see if our users were able to understand the key points.  

For the second round of testing, users were shown only the graphics for each step and asked to explain what they though was occurring.  This strategy was used to ensure that supporting images were correctly conveying the action described by corresponding text.

After multiple iterations, we decided to create animations for the first two steps to help users visualize the process.  The slideshow to your right is the last iteration of the tutorial design. 

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TEST & ITERATE


Usability Testing

Profile iterations

 
 

Tutorial iterations


Next Steps 

Further testing and iteration of the tutorial is needed to optimize the onboarding process

Additional exploration into "what makes a good match" to determine the best leader text and guidance for "about me" portion of profile

Exploration into possibility for Meddlers to help their friends create or add to their profiles

Our team recommended that focus on the creation of a native application (as opposed to using a desktop with an HTML wrapper) would create the best experience for users