Face 2 Face
Face 2 Face Dating App
UX RESEARCH - UX DESIGN - UI DESIGN - USABILITY TESTING
For my undergraduate thesis, I explored the relationship between user behaviours and experiences within online dating platforms. Online dating allows for emerging relationships between technology and human interaction to form a connection. It creates an environment in which individuals can connect over the Internet. With an interest in human interaction, online dating allowed for an opportunity to explore human relationships. Examining cultural, personal, and social aspects.
Face 2 Face is a mobile dating app that allows users to make the first approach without technology guiding the whole experience. Users can view specific restaurants, bars, and venues near them where they can connect based on a ‘checking in’ process. However, the catch is that users must be in the physical location to check in. Once a user is checked in, they have the option to connect with other users who may fit their desired profile.
Tools:Illustrator, Sketch, InVision
History of Online Dating
Online dating is an Internet-based methodology of connecting individuals. It emerges the relationship between technology and human interaction. Used as a communication tool, it allows those who share a mutual objective of developing personal or romantic relationships come together. The online dating industry first became apparent in 1995, with the creation of Match.com. By 2007, online dating became the second highest online industry for paid content.
Over the past twenty years, technology has shifted the way people interact with one another. Online dating began to branch further than just web-based interfaces. By 2012, mobile dating applications, such as Tinder became the new form of online dating. Tinder changed the online dating industry by becoming the first mobile-only based dating platform.
Tinder uses the GPS location service on mobile devices to connect users based on their location. By connecting to Facebook profiles, Tinder gathers information such as; pictures, age, and potential mutual friends. Tinder then finds you possible matches that are near you. You can narrow down potentials matches by editing your setting with specific ages and distance.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel has a different approach; it focuses on quality over quantity. It takes out the time-consuming element of swiping by providing users with 21 daily matches called “bagels” at noon. Once a match has been made users have 24 hours to send a message before the chat disappears.
Hinge was once similar to Tinder; however, it provided potential matches based off user’s mutual friends. Since then, Hinge has overhauled the application to focus more on developing long-term relationships. The swiping feature is gone, and there is now a focus on the user’s profile and background story.
To fully understand how a user interrupts and utilizes online dating platforms, 4 participants were asked to share their experiences. A total of 27 questions were asked to each participant. The questions were broken down into four categories: reasoning, experiences, perspectives, and ethical views.
The purpose of these interviews was to gather insights as to how individuals utilize online dating platforms. The results gathered from the interviews allowed for the examination of how users feel about online dating and what they feel the online dating industry is lacking.
The findings from these user interviews found that 3 out of the 4 participants stated that they began using online dating platforms when they moved to a new city. The participant expanded on their reasoning as to why they use online dating platforms by wanting to meet new people, not just for a relationship but also friendships.
When asked the questions, “What are some shortcomings or flaws of online dating?” participants expressed the following frustrations:
Matches who are nothing like their profiles
Lack of personal engagement
A minimal amount of information about people
Having to filter through rude and inappropriate messages
“How might we change the ‘shopping cart mentality’ of online dating by creating more efficient methods that allow users to go beyond the connections and conversations made within the online dating world.”
After brainstorming many ideas, I chose the top three that would best convey my problem. I wanted to focus more on a solution or opportunity that would be adaptable to the issue of, “how might we change the ’shopping cart mentality’ of online dating by creating more efficient methods that allow users to go beyond the connections and conversations made within the online dating world.” Each followed a similar theme of creating a way to get users outside of the app and meeting face to face.
A New Dating App
Face 2 Face
A mobile dating app called Face 2 Face that allows users to still participate in the digital world as well as incorporating ‘old-fashion’ methods of meeting and dating a person. The app would be location-based, and users would be able to view a map of venues in which they could go and meet people. Face 2 Face would allow users to check into a specific location, similar to speed dating, and meet other users within that venue. Users would only be able to view potential matches, but would not be able to communicate with them.
The rest of the communication and meeting phase would be left to the user. Giving them the option to approach a potential match. This allows users to make the first approach without technology guiding the way. The app may help the user get there and see the person, but what happens next is up to the user.
Paper Prototyping and Testing
To gather feedback on the concept of Face 2 Face I asked 5 participants to user test a paper prototype. The target audience for user testing focused on individuals who frequently use dating apps. I wanted to gather insight from users who have a strong understanding of various dating apps.
Before the user testing sessions began, I gave a brief explanation of the concept behind the application, along with its functionality. During the user testing sessions, each participant was asked a series of questions regarding:
Understanding and purpose of the concept
The user flow of the app
User Testing Feedback
After completing each user testing session, I asked the participants to give feedback on the concept of Face 2 Face along with its functionality. I asked each individual a scenario question to help put into to context the purpose of the application. “Imagine you were at a coffee shop alone and you were willing to meet someone new. Would you consider using an app like Face 2 Face?
If a large population of people were to use the application, it would be successful.
What happens if the locations a person goes to doesn’t have that many people using the app? It could be a hit or miss.
I like how you have the option whether or not you want to connect with a person. The connection aspect gives you the green light go ahead if you match with someone.
It would be great to have a section in which they can input their likes and dislikes as possible conversation starters.
The profile page should stand out differently from other dating apps.
Instead of having the person be in the location physically, perhaps have a larger radius. As a way to draw people to that location/venue.
The primary persona of Face 2 Face is Amelia Ray. Amelia is a 25-year-old photographer from Toronto, ON and is a casual user of online dating apps. The persona of Amelia was created based on my user interviews and critical insights from my research of the online dating industry. The most common demographic for online dating users are between the ages of 18-25 years old.
The process of creating the branding and style tile around Face 2 Face changed on one or more occasions. My original colour scheme of Face 2 Face was very feminine and more of my branding. After gathering feedback from peers, I decided to use a more neutral colour scheme. In the final designs, I used cool shades of blue and integrated an eye-catching gradient. I wanted Face 2 Face to be clean and minimalistic with the ideal user experience. Throughout my design process, I followed the iOS Human Interface Guidelines, ensuring that my design elements would be adaptable for display.
Face 2 Face Promo Video
What I Learned
Creating Face 2 Face resulted in a greater understanding of user behaviours within the online dating world. Design the user experience and branding around a new dating application presented a challenge to cater to a more diverse user demographic. Although difficulties arouse, prototyping and user testing aided in the improvements needed to make Face 2 Face a more appealing dating app. It allowed me as a designer to refine my skills and understanding of creating innovative user experiences that are adaptable to a wide range of users.