Switch contrast About The Author Suzanne Scacca is a former WordPress implementer, trainer and agency manager who now works as a freelance copywriter.
How To Improve Your Designs 16 min read Design , Apps , Mobile Did you know that mobile dating app users spend, on average, more than a half-hour on these apps every single day?
This article explains the six key ways in which dating app developers successfully use design to create an engaging and addictive experience for their users. After all, how much can really be accomplished within such a limited space? I know, I know. They often get a bad rap for turning the dating scene into something superficial, mechanical and impersonal. Log in through Facebook. Developers of mobile dating apps have done a great job of creating an engaging and almost addictive experience that keep users coming back not just on more than one occasion, but daily.
Localytics conducted a study in on mobile app abandonment. Two statistics came out of this research that app developers should find worrisome: Some mobile app concepts just make more sense than others and will be better received by users. Take mobile dating apps. The concept is similar to what traditional dating websites aim to accomplish: This is likely why dating apps continue to be so popular, nearly half a decade after the introduction of Tinder to the mainstream.
On its own, Tinder garners 1. Its users each spend an average of 35 minutes on the platform every day. Compare that to Bumble, one of the newer yet very popular kids on the block.
In other words, why do so many people flock to and engage so heavily with them? What differentiates the website experience from the now superior app experience is the speed and convenience with which users can find a match. Here are six lessons that can be learned from studying effective mobile dating app designs.
At the time, I remember despising dating websites. They required what I perceived to be too much work, and none of them really looked very good.
As I mentioned, however, not all mobile apps are as well received as mobile dating apps. Much of that has to do with design. Sure, some dating websites such as Match and OkCupid have crossed over into the mobile app space in order to give users flexible options in how they use the service. That being said, apps that are truly making strides in this space are those that are strictly mobile-only and designed with a mobile-first mentality.
In fact, many of the answers can be provided simply by clicking on a dropdown option. With limited space for typing and only so much your thumbs can do on a mobile device, contact forms and other input fields need to be simplified.
The same goes for account settings, like in Once: The less work they have to do, the better. Facebook logins are becoming ever more popular with mobile apps, and dating apps in particular have increasingly jumped on the bandwagon.
Huggle is one of the many that do this: Huggle, like many other dating apps, enables Facebook login. Choose Powerful Colors Color is an incredibly powerful part of any web design , especially so in mobile apps, which are fighting against waning user interest.
A mix of mobile dating app icons View large version Take a look at the app icons above. Is it any surprise that two of the leading dating apps Tinder and Bumble use red and yellow, respectively, as their primary colors?
Think about it like this. Tinder has a reputation for giving users an opportunity to find a long-term mate, as well as someone for a night. But the underlying message here? Tinder feeds your passion and does so quickly — two of the common psychological associations with the color red.
Bumble, on the other hand, is supposed to provide a safer environment for dating. In essence, Bumble provides a more positive dating experience for its users, which makes yellow — a color synonymous with positivity and happiness — a smart choice. Rather than overwhelm the design with a red background or with splashes of royal blue everywhere, these apps use hints of color to remind users of where to go to interact next.
Once strategically uses bright colors to draw attention to calls to action. Once View large version 3. Smartphones have made us less inclined to read more than maybe a couple lines of text. So, for web developers who think that creating a responsive design for their website is enough to keep mobile users engaged, think again.
Of course, you have to pick your battles. In some cases, a full page of copy makes sense such as blog posts and case studies. But there are smart ways to keep a mobile interface light on text, while still communicating a lot through sharp design. Here are some cool things mobile dating apps do in this respect. Even then, bios are limited to characters. Bumble bios are short and to the point.
Bumble View large version Mobile dating apps also make wise choices about how the app and its features are explained. Rather than provide users with long pages that give the history of the company, talk about its goals and explain the ins and outs of the tool, these apps use easily recognizable images, strong colors and sparse text to communicate with users.
Bumble does an especially good job of this in explaining various upgrade options: Bumble always keeps the interface clean and easy to read. Basically, you get a sense of how to interact with the app through a series of brief notes. Hinge does this through a number of popups that you need to confirm in order to indicate that you understand how its functionality differs from the traditional swiping of other dating apps: Hinge offers short and easy-to-follow tooltips. Hinge View large version Clover spells this out quite nicely as well: Clover View large version 4.
Simplify the Navigation Nearly half of all mobile users rely on just a single thumb to interact with their device. For web developers, responsive navigation design is a major priority. But how should mobile app developers handle this? Tinder View large version Labeling is also worth noting, because dating apps use simple-to-understand icons, instead of bulky labels or custom icons that come with a learning curve. The same goes for the non-match portion of dating apps.
No complicated navigation is needed on Bumble. Bumble View large version This part of the navigation might not be all that different from what your own app does.
The true differentiator in navigation between mobile dating apps and most other apps is the swipe-to-navigate gesture. Tinder is nice enough to add a reminder the first time you interact with the app as well, just to make sure you understand what your swiping will do: The left and right swipe of mobile dating apps.
In other words, how can you keep users actively engaged with your app without forcing them to wait for new pages, tabs or product images to load? Is there a way to keep them on the same screen but still enable them to move through different parts of the app? Gamify Interactions Some would complain about the over-simplification of dating apps and how they lead to swipe blindness.
Gamification is just one method by which mobile dating apps keep users engaged. In order for gamification to work, there needs to be a system of risk and reward. The risk in this case could come in the form of the following and more: Each dating app seems to have its own unique and preferred system of gamification, closely tied to its brand identity.
Clover, for example, tries to bridge the gap between dating websites with a comprehensive intake questionnaire and an app built for speed. This is why a game of 20 Questions makes sense for this app. Clover View large version When users complete 20 Questions, they receive these words of support. Clover View large version Then, we have Once, an app that sends you only one well-tuned match every day.
Once uses a rating game to reward users. Once View large version Bumble, on the other hand, uses gamification to play into the sense of urgency we all have when using a mobile device and when trying to hurry up and find the love of our life! Although the app grants ladies the power of communication, it also has its limits: Bumble uses a timer to motivate users. Bumble View large version Ultimately, gamification is not about creating mindless or pointless games or animations that add nothing to the experience.
Facilitate Communication With a website, you have a number of opportunities to communicate with users: