With an estimated 50 million users, 10 million daily active users and 20 billion matches – it’s safe to say that Tinder has dominated the mobile dating space of the app store. It’s simple UX, clean interface & powerful matching ability all played a huge part in its rise to success… but that’s not to say there’s zero room for improvement.
Fortunately for me, I’m both an active user of Tinder as well as a well-versed UI/UX Designer – so I took it upon myself to give this widely recognised app a new lick of paint, but also suggest some new features that I feel may, ahem, enhance the experience.
Let’s get down to business.
Let’s start with hierarchy of information – when someone is hopping on to Tinder, they already know that the core of this app is driven by the primal, immediate attraction: Do I or do I not find this person attractive? Yes or no? I took this approach when it comes to what information the user wants to be seeing at surface level, this means anything upfront and requiring no leg work to find out.
From “research”… I discovered that the most important things people want to know about someone are as follows: Their name, age, and how far away they are from you. At this point of entry no one cares about their occupation or specific location. We can ask each other that when we’ve matched, or if I look a little closer, but right now people just want to swipe left or right with minimal investigation time. This called for a re-shuffle in information display.
We’ve all been there: just matched with someone absolutely gorgeous, only to discover that they’re not even on here to talk, they’re just wanting to promote their Snapchat account. This is where the importance of an ‘active user’ indicator plays a big part.
People want to know if they’re going to get a response, so if there’s a way to distinguish between ‘active’ users who are there to find dates & respond, versus those who have no interest in talking and are just there for a variety of reasons that we don’t care about right now. This is also included at surface level, because I feel like knowing if someone is willing to actually talk back, plays a large role in deciding whether I want to swipe on this person. Who knew?
Other minor tweaks I made to the dashboard was customizing the navigational icons a bit more – the Tinder flame is iconic and can be adapted to suit so many different shape forms, I found it hard to not toy around with to create some really unique interface elements. This adds an extra level of brand identity to really set itself apart from the imitators, and more importantly, competitors.
I added an extra gesture to the current interface, in this case it’s now scroll up from the name to flip the card to the ‘profile side’ – simply scroll back down to go back to the front. The whole swiping mechanics of this app is universally ingrained into the minds of anyone using Tinder, so it’s best to not mess with something that isn’t broke… yet.
Next up is where the magic happens – our chat inbox.
Alright, we’ve just swiped right on someone and now have a match. “What the hell do we talk about?” is generally the first question that goes through the mind; are they a ‘cheesy line’ kind of person? Or do they want to know that I’ve read their profile and know what they like? Never fear, the new addition of suggested topic bubbles populating a blank chat view are here to the rescue. A simple inclusion at first glance, but it would really help inspire the less witty to be comfortable with saying something that they know is of some merit. If you can’t be funny, you can be relevant at the very least.
Once again, the all-important ‘I actually reply to people’ tag is still present in the chat view – as this is most likely the second view you’ll be seeing when you’ve matched and have now gone back into the app to remind yourself of who you swiped right on in the first place.
From a UI perspective not much has changed, the interface is just far more elegant and features more of that unique ‘brand stamp’ application. There are some questionable choices of colour used in the current app; I’ll never understand why text bubbles are bright blue. You do you, Tinder. You do you.
Now I did include an additional feature to this view, which leads me on to our next point of improvement…
Without question the biggest suggestion to Tinder’s current offering is the random (but smart) date idea generator. I’ve used Tinder for a while and I’ve always felt like this is the missing piece of the puzzle, and what would really drive Tinder ahead, and stay ahead of everything else out there.
“I don’t mind, you pick!” – if only I received a penny for each time I’ve been told this, I’d be on my private yacht not even worrying about what I could possibly do to redefine Tinder. There is a massive need and huge space in dating for the indecisive, and what better way to address that than do all the hard work for them?
With the tap of a button (location permissions allowing, of course) matched users should be able to generate a location/venue/service that’s somewhere in between the two locations. To what level of granular detail this goes into is down to powers above, but being able to get a basic suggestion for a date that’s accessible to both parties would be fundamental in the next step of maintaining Tinder as the ‘standard’ of online dating.
So, to conclude I’ll reiterate my opening statements; Tinder has a solid concept and a winning formula – it just has potential to be shaped into more by the needs of the users. Showing what we really want to see, help breaking the ice & smart suggestions, all play a part in taking away some worries people already have, when they first start using a dating app. The least we can do is make it an easy ride.