Most dating sites are limited in opportunities to interact with others in a meaningful way and at a pace that feels comfortable. Many have a way of connecting directly via email or chat, which gives the impression of immediate strong interest. As a contrast, most also include an action in the form a button that lets the other person know that they are interested. Oftentimes, this is in the form of something like a “wink”, or a “thumbs up” button. This action’s meaning is vague and is also perceived as a passive, lazy way to initiate interaction.
Through qualitative data collection, my user research revealed the need for more fun and light-hearted interaction in online dating. This would allow users more time to get to know one another before deciding if they are interested enough to meet, and prolong the introductory phase. No existing app successfully addresses the issue of facilitating creative, interesting and meaningful interactions among users.
By integrating games as a means for interaction in conjunction with a chat feature, the Love Time App provides more creative and fun ways to connect and converse with potential interests than competitors. Users can invite others to play a game and send a chat message simultaneously. This light-hearted way to start a dialogue sends a message that is neither too strong nor passive and allows for a natural and fun way to communicate. The Love time App aims to improve the online dating experience by providing a middle ground for social interaction.
Work began with researching the domain (and watching a bunch of youtube videos on dating apps) to discover what already exists. I conducted a comparative/competitive feature analysis on 3 of the most popular dating apps in the U.S. to learn more about how they stack up. Next, I analyzed my user data collected through interviewing and identified pain points associated with the current options that are out there. I then prioritized those pain points and began formulating a persona to design for.
Through story boarding scenarios and sketching journeys, Jenny Wilson helped me focus on the problems I was trying to solve. I hand sketched user flows, sitemaps, and eventually solidified the information architecture.
The method of testing I used was in the form of a paper prototype with simple drawings. Using a low-fidelity, sketched prototype was great because it allowed my participants to focus on the basic interactions and for me to make adjustments quickly.
The adjacent video was a trial run with my boyfriend before running through 3 usability tests with actual participants.
The final product is a sketched prototype placed in InVision that demonstrates how a game would be successfully implemented into a dating app.
Users would be provided with an interesting way to initiate interactions with potential dates without feeling immediately pressured to make a decision about whether or not they are interested. The game function allows more time for an introductory phase.
If this project were to move forward, I would like to explore what kinds of games would be best for this type of use. If developed, I would like to test the theory of this form of interaction leading to more successful dates.