Reintroducing fun to online dating

Team

Lead Insights & Strategy Designer | Kat Reiser

Product Designer | Victoria Marie Williamson

Brand Designer |  Emmanuella Ben-Eboh

Designer | Kristen Raffanti

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Who among us hasn’t spent a night staring at their phone while sitting on the couch?

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There’s a desire to be doing something with someone…

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…But connecting with new people through their dating app profiles is difficult. It all feels fake.

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You could swipe on a thousand potential dates, match with a hundred, message with ten, and still end up alone.

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You want to be focusing your energy on having a great time, not how to build the perfect profile.

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Make a genuine connection by doing what you love.

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Reflect on what you want, then plug in your calendar.

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Find a date that feels best for you.

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When someone else is interested in the same activity, you get your chance!

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Confirm and pay. We’ll arrange everything else.

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All you have to do is show up at the meeting spot.

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Dating should be fun and easy.

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When you are focused on what you want rather than what you think other people want, connecting isn’t as intimidating.

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At the very least you’ll have taken the chance.

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Design Process:

The path we took to creating Chance

CHALLENGE

No one likes online dating. No one. But it's the best option available in our increasingly remote world.

Our team investigated changing patterns in dating and entertainment behavior.  We identified four fundamental trends shaping how dating has shifted in the past year and how consumers choose to fill their time.

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A Negative Outlook

Online dating and cultural power shifts have made a difficult journey worse. Nearly half of U.S. adults (47%) say dating is more challenging today for most people compared with ten years ago. 

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Slow Dating

Amid new risks of seeing lots of people in a shorter timespan, many daters are opting to take their time before meeting IRL (in real life).

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Experiences Over Things

The most valuable collections no longer live in the home; they live on your Instagram feed. 74 percent of Americans prioritize experiences over products.

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Commodification of Dating

Apps have obscured the goal of connection with video game mechanics, with dehumanizing results. Time spent swiping is one of the biggest predictors of anxiety linked to dating apps.

APPROACH

Interviewing users and mapping out the dating journey

10 user interviews were conducted and informed the team's understanding of where opportunities lay.  Journey mapping was critical to understanding where we could intervene to improve the online dater's experience.

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Two low points

Building the profile was a struggle for many of the daters we interviewed. They also expressed frustration with the large amount of effort they put forward compared to the people they were messaging. Many people felt like they carried the conversation and showed more interest than their matches. The emotional labor needed to get to the point of proposing a meeting in person often felt like it was not worth the effort for fear of rejection.

Key insights from interviews

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Finding love should feel unexpected

Most people fantasize about finding their love interest outside of the dating app. We must create points of connection that feel unique and valuable. We needed to create a system to bring back kismet, so our users felt like they were starring in their very own rom-com.

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We must remove the focus on profiles

Many people create dating profiles based on what they believe their audience wants, rather than a reflection of who they are. They believe the profiles they see are artificial or insufficient. Daters reach out to friends for advice to offload some of the stress of building their online personas.

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Online dating feels like homework

Swiping may be addicting, but the space between matching and meeting IRL (in real life) is hard. Messages often go quiet, and scheduling is a chore. Most connections do not meet in person because there's too much effort on the users to make it happen.

Unearthing a business opportunity by harnessing user-centric service design

When considering the entire system of entities involved in dating beyond the apps themselves, we identified an unexplored business opportunity: 

Connecting the user to the location of the date right in the app itself

The work of setting up a place and time to meet can be done by the app, relieving the user of the task and offering an opportunity for local business owners to get on daters' radars. Whether it's a ceramics class or a pop-up cocktail bar, the chance to try something new with someone new could entice daters.

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RESULT

Improving the dating experience through system innovation

Chance is a dating app where users pick what they want to do before they pick the person they are going with. To see the fully-rendered concept:

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Early concept sketch 

Looking for more?

Reach out if you want to learn more about my work or simply have a chat over coffee.

Kat Reiser | Made with ❤️  in Chicago | 2021