At First Site

Dating App With Intelligent Matches And Fresh, Interesting Date Suggestions

Date: Sept - Dec 2019

Team Members: Neha Kodi, Amy Tachasirinugune, Jelani Roberts, Joanne Hsu, Karen Wang

Skills:

  • User Experience Design

  • User Interface Design

  • Human Centered Design

  • Digital Prototyping

  • User Research

  • Ideating

  • Service Design

  • Insight Synthesis

  • Storytelling

The Problem

When dating, it’s hard to decide on what to do on a date. Whether you’re always going to the same place because you know it works well enough, or you’re not sure what activity the other person likes, it can be hard to find the best activity

 

Personas

Competitive Feature Analysis

As we developed aspects of the app, we needed to understand the competitive landscape in terms of the target audience, product purpose and features/functions. The analysis included Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagels, The League, Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, and more.   We identified 5 key features and analyzed why and how they were done.

Feature 1: Onboarding

Onboarding currently has the goal of requiring the least amount of information possible to get to the main functionality of the app. For example, Bounce, a location based dating app initially only starts with your name, age, and city. The longer the onboarding process, the fewer people join the app. That being said, people expect the same level of completion on profiles as their own.  Incomplete profiles feel untrustworthy. The onboarding is an important step because it will dictate the user’s involvement.

Feature 2: Freemium

Currently the most popular dating apps are all freemium models with limited functionality of almost every feature. With a paid subscription, the user is given extra functionality of a specific feature. For example, Tinder gives users more “Super Likes” in a paid model.  Freemium allows an influx of users by reducing barrier to entry. Once they’re hooked, paid subscription will involve them more deeply in the app. In initial user tests, people expect freemium in dating apps and refuse to consider dating apps that they have to pay for from the beginning.

Feature 3: Curated Matching

Curated matching only happens in apps that collect more information from people, like OkCupid. They allow users to answer hundreds of questions to create in-depth profiles and have percentage matches based on similar answers. Matching is becoming more common. And once users receive relevant matches, they understand the value of having more accurate profiles.”

Feature 4: Social Media Connection

Many apps provide social media connections, as it helps develop a sense of security with users that a profile is real and allows people to get a deeper understanding of a person’s personality. This has become standard across many dating apps.  A good example is The League with its year-long waitlist so they can verify users LinkedIn Profiles.

Feature 5: Date Curation

Date Curation is a very new feature that is starting to be incorporated into apps, like with Hinge partnering with OpenTable to make dinner reservations. However, the app integration for date curation is very underdeveloped. Because of the quick onboarding many apps have created, they don’t have enough information to start doing date curation.

Overall Trends In Competitors

Finally, we sent out a survey to 250+ dating app users to understand their experiences on dating apps and overall impressions of different apps. Here are the results we gathered.

Looking at these details, we can see a trend towards curation. However, the top dating apps were built around minimal information systems and are now struggling to dive into these aspects of curation. The only apps that record enough information, like OKCupid, don’t make the question answering part extremely fun or engaging.

 

This is where At First Site can really stand out.

Research Tools

We started with 12 user interviews, a 250 person survey of existing dating apps, and an in depth analysis of competitor products to get a strong sense of the problems listed above. We then got to work with developing minimum viable prototypes to gain more insight into the process. 

MVP: Date Suggestions

Team goal was to develop a date curation app. I developed this short survey to gauge people's aesthetics, hobbies, and schedules in order to propose an ideal date for both people. We tested this on a few team members going out on dates, and having the other team members use the information to suggest an ideal date for the two people. Feedback was positive.

To see the full list of questions you can see the survey here:  https://forms.gle/QwSh5pXWHXjd4TRt7 

Onboarding Wireframe

Next we had to understand what kind of information we could collect from users and how to do it. I prototyped a signup user flow where we asked users about different kinds of information to see what information was most useful. What we found was that the overall process took too long and people struggled to actually fill out all the information on it. So we knew the onboarding process would have to be a short and easy and we would need to collect the other information some other way.

Finally, I developed the high fidelity prototype of the app using the insights and highlighted features above.

At First Site addresses the constant challenge to find quality matches, get past chat, and interact offline. We are THE digital date concierge: help connect, prioritize meetups, and create meaningful interactions in exciting ways. Our date suggestions for each match is sure to be a hit - with easy bookings and reservations through the app. Oh and did we say... it’s free!

FirstSite

Introducing

 

Final Prototype

Here is the final prototype that we developed. I built this wireframe as the lead UX designer. The prototype allows you to walk through profile creation through Instagram, browsing profiles, full interactions with Sam's Profile, as well as chatting and the start of the "Date Preferences" quiz and the "What's Your Hugh-Jackman-sona?" quiz. Below I'll describe each feature of the app and what user needs it solves.

While interacting with this prototype, if you are struggling to find what buttons to press, click anywhere and blue box will flash indicating a clickable button. 
 

Profile Creation

Creating A Profile With Social Media

No matter what, users are able to get into the app with only 6 key pieces of information: Name, Age, Gender, A Photo, Location, & Gender Preferences. Allowing users to create an account with social media lets us speed up profile creation to only requiring a question or two. Users can quickly verify the information to make sure that it's all correct. We do state that the more filled out your profile is, the better matches you will be set up with. This way we ensure real app users are being matched with real app users. 

Key Measurement: % of users creating accounts with social media.

Selfie Safety

Because our app asks people to go out and meet up with people in person, we need to make sure that people are getting matched with real people. To do this we require all users match a randomly generated pose when they upload their profile picture. They have to show their face in the profile picture, and the faces have to match in order to create a profile. If it doesn't work they are able to request an in-person comparison.  This way we can help ensure some level of real profiles to our users.

Key Measurements: Number of bots and fake profiles detected.

10 Curated Matches

Every day at 5pm, users receive 10 potential matches based on answers to quizzes and activity preferences. This also helps our users put more time into users before making a decision and focus on quality of matches rather than quantity of matches.

Key Measurements: 50% of connections should actually chat.

Match & Chat

In-Depth Profiles

While profile creation is easy with the 6 key pieces of information, users have the ability to add more information about themselves by creating a photo collage of themselves or answering pre-created questions. At the bottom of the page you can also see the responses to Insites (buzzfeed style personality quizzes described later) taken. Users have the ability to retake quizzes as well as hide results from their main profile. This way users still have the ability to really personalize their profile as they share it with others.

Key Measurement: Average time creating a profile.

Conversation Starters

Every match gets a unique conversation starter. The first message can be the hardest with people getting an onslaught of "Hey! How's it going". While users have a lot of content on people's profiles to start a conversation, if they're struggling the conversation starter is always there to offer help. The conversation starter will appear an hour after a match to provide users with some time to start something on their own.

Key Measurement: Time between getting a conversation starter and actually having a conversation. Goal is under and hour.

A Dating Concierge

Insites (personality quizzes)

Right now many dating apps don't have ways of collecting information about people to provide detailed recommendations. Our Insites (a buzzfeed style quiz) give people fun ways to learn about themselves and share it with potential partners, as well as allows us to suggest activities they would enjoy based on their interests. We plan to release new quizzes every week, as well as have sponsored quizzes from major companies or new upcoming movies in the same way that Snapchat has sponsored filters when a new movie comes out. Users are able to control what Insites are being shown to potential matches, and retake Insites after 24 hours. This way a user stay involved with the app while waiting for their first few matches. We do not intend to sell user data but to build trust with users and ensure privacy.

Key Measurement: Number of Insites taken per week. Speed between a new Insite alert and actually taking the quiz.

Date Suggestions

With every suggested profile given to a user, they will see a potential date activity that the app thinks will work for the couple. This could be anything from beers and bowling, to a river boat tour followed by martinis on a rooftop bar. The date recommendations are built from the date preferences quiz and includes information on how much someone is willing to pay, how far they can travel, how active they want the date to be, how long the date should last, etc.  This is combined with information on their personality gathered from their profile as well as the Insite quizzes.

We can partner with local bars, restaurants, and booking services like Eventbrite or Groupon to help people explore their cities, get out of their normal sphere, and have interesting first dates. Users also have the ability to change a date if they want and we provide 2 potential alternatives we think they both would like. Otherwise they are able to make a new date on their own.

Key Measurement: Ideally 10% of users go on the date suggested.

Other Features

Mints

Mints is AtFirstSite's form of currency. Users earn mints by taking Insites, making decisions on matches, and giving us feedback on a curated date activity.  They are also able to purchase more currency if they run out. The mints unlock paid features like reviewing a past date, unlocking a new person in a set of potential matches, more detailed profile personalization, and taking special quizzes.

Key Measurement: % of users that subscribe to monthly mints. $ from mint sales per month.

Sharing Your Date

Another aspect of keeping our users safe is to provide them with an ability to let friends know where they're going. The "share your date" feature allows a user to send a friend their date's profile as well as the locations they are planning on going to for the food and activity. This way someone knows where they're going and when they should worry. AtFirstSite does our best to ensure real profiles, and suggest dates in public safe places, but we also can't take responsibility for an actions taken on a date.

Key Measurement: % of users that share their dates.

Documentation

In order to launch, we would need $20K in develoment costs to code the app as well as develop a data base of activities and restaurants for the date suggestions. We would then also need $20k in marketing to launch targeting Chicago as a starting point and slowly spreading to other major cities across the U.S. in the first 2-3 years. To see the in depth break down of how we plan to expand over the first several years as well as features to be rolled out in future iteration, feel free to read through our Market Requirements Doc (MRD) and Product Requirements Doc (PRD)

MRD

PRD

Thanks to my awesome team for making this such a fun product to work on!