Digital People is a Texas-based startup with a novel idea for making meaningful connections. They want to create a safe, playful mobile dating app that encourages impromptu, in-person meet-ups based on physical location with an initial focus on users in their 20s.
The romantic comedy trope of an unexpected run-in leading to true love plays out as Meet Cute, your good luck charm for a chance at love.
︎︎︎ All work completed alongside Anna Sing and Claren Moyers.
The design team began research by using and reviewing several popular dating platforms, interviewing several users within the stated demographic, then developed narratives to inform naming and branding.
Branding themes ranged from wingman, personal assistant, good luck charm, or a gentle nudge in digital form.
● 9 interviews (5 women, 4 men)
● 6 straight participants, 2 gay men, and 1 bisexual woman
● Ages: 21f, 22m, 23f, 23f, 24m, 25m, 29m, 29f
● Apps used: Tinder (9), Bumble (8), Hinge (6), Grindr (2),
Match.com (1), okCupid (1)
● Average interview length: 30.4 minutes
● 475 observations
● 109 insights
Each interview was recorded and reviewed by each member of the design team. Through Miro, we captured each observation, recognizing noteworthy patterns which were then categorized. This included quotes that encapsulated broader ideas and observations that contradicted statements made by the client.
Insights and user journeys were assigned to personas, based upon general demographics associated with our user interviews. There was a recognizeable difference in experiences between gender, sexual orientation, and intentions - showing a need for us to consider ways to improve multiple touchpoints within our platform, not leaning so heavily into the novel nature of this app’s idea. This include messaging fatigue, profile setup, ghosting, safety, phishing, duration.
Insights also stressed how each user has modified the original intention of the app to fit their lifestyle and needs. This includes throttling apps by turning off notifications, reoccuring deletion when it becomes overwhelming, keeping a note file on your phone with a crafted bio as you’re restarting your profile constantly to reset matches, to screen-shots of profiles that are then texted to friends for safety.
Insights moved to ideation, which informed needs for efficiency, clarity, and persuasion. Users need to be pushed to meet in person, avoiding never-ended messaging, and the list of potential matches should be restricted to only those in your vicinity. Initial setup is meant to be quick to get you matching.
Safety is stressed through profile image verification, simple actions to submit profiles to existing security contacts, and preventing individuals from seeing your profile who are not checked into your location.
No matches are available to a user until they successfully check in. From there, potential matches are populated based on a restricted distance from that point and are only available as long as you remain checked in.
This feature removes the barrier of potential matches in physical space. You can now confirm that someone in your vicinity is available and interested in you, so why not say hi?
This app is not designed for a long courting process through messages, or by swiping right on hundreds of people in hopes that you’ll match with a few. Once you check in, you will only see potential matches nearby. Once you match, say hi, then you are encouraged to go introduce yourself. If you check out of your location, you are immediately unmatched and messages are lost. If you’re chatting too much digitally, the app prods you to say ‘hi’.
For premium users, a set of perks are offered that provides information meant to increase your chances. You’ll be able to see how many users are checked into specific locations, guiding your evening plans. You can see which locations are popular now, or lately. Finally, businesses can create events targeted towards users, providing a central location for singles to meet.
A minimum viable product was developed and launched at the beginning of 2020, which was untimely.
It’s fun to meet new people, so the app shoudn’t feel aggressive or sterile. Using language from popular rom-coms and known colloquialisms, we addressed common terms associated with dating apps such as “premium” and “match” with friendlier terms such as ‘perks’ and ‘keepers’.
The intention is how you refer to a new partner after the fact. I found a keeper has a romantic tinge, while ‘we matched on an app’ removes the necessary human component.