Let's be friends forever!
Bumble is a highly favored dating application used to meet new. It has over 55 million users and challenged the standard behind dating. Women make the first move which changes outdated gender norms.
Not only has it made an impact in the dating market, but also with the intention of meeting new friends. Currently, Bumble finds the friend match feature comes with a unique set of challenges. Bumble’s friend-matching feature is essentially a clone of their dating platform, where you search for people, and you simply match or don’t match.
This project challenged my team and I to redesign the effectiveness of their current approach on how users are making connections while searching for friends. My partner was the lead researcher, where I was the lead designer.
The existing features on a profile struggled with giving users the ability to search for long-term friendships that best suit them. Users need a way to connect over shared interests with minimal obstacles and need to stay connected the best way possible after matching.
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Users who are concerned about being deceived online need a way to connect over shared interests with minimal work because they want to make everlasting connections.
The Design Process:
How might we make preferences into effective filters?
How might we help users start a meaningful conversation?
How might we promote genuine profiles?
Survey data mentioned political affiliation, hobbies and interests were the most important when meeting friends. As the lead design, I began thinking of ways I could implement features to ensure users were compatible in these areas of life and implemented those changes in the lo-fidelity prototype. However, instead of designing filters, I allowed users accessibility to choose profiles that only shared those like-minded qualities. I also sketched designs for post matching engagement.
PREFERENCES - I wanted the ability to make hobbies and interests accessible to all users to ensure they were matching with profiles they would be interested in.
LAYOUT - The profile is summarized onto one screen. Interests and hobbies are placed first and photos are condensed and not prioritized. Verified profiles are shown at the top upon review of the name, as well.
CONVERSATION - Instead of being left with your keyboard, conversation starters help you begin genuine engagements.
Overall, the users found more confidence in the app with the feeling it cared for their registered interests and that it appropriately matched them with people who listed the same political views, interests, and hobbies. Users favored the conversation starters to help them jumpstart the match without the pressure of having to converse openly (and unknowingly).
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While creating the redesign project, I found myself trying to allow our users to customize their profile freely, however, I realized it was not necessarily the profiles that were the challenge, but the visibility of those profiles that were not allowing for legitimate matches.
We also identified other challenges to focus on in next steps, such as:
Allow users to match with any gender?
Changing registration process (verification)
Guidelines and “rules” to the conversation prompts
During this project, I found that we may think matching profiles means success, but success comes from ensuring two people have a genuine and everlasting connection.