Love in the time of Covid-19

Conceptually enhancing the Hinge online dating app experience


Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

The Brief


What does the market look like?

Analysis Quadrant: Hinge relative to the competitor’s on Covid-19 & supporting meaningful relationships

Is there a gap in the market?

Who currently uses dating apps?

  • 30 (17 male, 12 female, 1 queer) were currently single and open for a relationship.
  • But only 19 (11 male, 7 female, 1 queer) currently use at least one dating app.

How could dating apps be more engaging? It’s time to ask the users…

Interviewing using Zoom
  • Users were generally open to the concept of online dates.
  • Active users typically spent 30 minutes a day on dating apps.
  • Users found it difficult to start new conversations and then to keep them going.
  • Users don’t like pop-up notifications as they could appear at the wrong time (that could be embarrassing!).
  • The majority would enjoy playing games as part of the ‘getting to know you’ process.
An example of one of the Miro boards with responses and grouped themes. Contact me if you want to read the Post Its!


Hi Claudia! How’s online dating for you?

Claudia’s Persona: Capturing the essence of our research
Claudia’s Empathy Map
Claudia’s Experience Map: Her highs and lows of online dating

Claudia needs a better way to engage with potential matches on Hinge because she feels like her conversations die out as quickly as they begin


So ‘How Might We’ solve Claudia’s problem?

  • How Might We make it easier for a match to engage with Claudia?

Let’s get creative in a Design Studio!

Core ideas from the initial question: How Might We make it easier for a match to engage with Claudia?
  • An online game feature that Claudia could opt-in to
  • A nudge feature for conversations Claudia had started but not responded to after a few days.

User Flow 1: Claudia likes Juan… let’s play a game

A ‘happy path’ user flow for Claudia to invite Juan to play an online game

User Flow 2: Nudge to keep the conversation going

A ‘happy path’ user flow for Hinge to remind Claudia that she’s not replied to Juan after 2 days

How could these features be integrated into Hinge?

Application Map: Showing where the new game feature would be at home

Time to start low-fidelity wireframing…

Examples of my game prompt in a conversation between Claudia and her potential match, Juan.
  • The initial ‘I love games’ option didn’t follow the same ‘like’ flow used by the other options in Hinge.
  • Users expected to see more game options in the conversation view.
Examples of the feedback from the Low-Fidelity wireframes

Increasing the detail in Mid-Fidelity

  • Confusion over the ‘I’m online’ black circles — ‘do I have a new message?’
  • ‘Is that all the games?’ — users didn’t find the game category intuitive.
  • ‘I’m not sure where I’m meant to be looking on the game page’ — the visual hierarchy needed to be reconsidered.
Examples of the feedback from the Mid-Fidelity wireframes

Iterating to High-Fidelity: Almost ready to prototype…

Onboarding & Empty-state: How do I start playing?

Onboarding the new game tab. Left: Onboarding Middle: Initial empty-state Right: game options

Fun for everyone? Checking Accessibility

Testing the Accessibility of the game selection screen. Left: Full colour. Right: High-contrast black and white


Welcome to the new Hinge… prototype concept!

User Flow 1: Claudia likes Juan…

User Flow 1 Animation

User Flow 2: Nudge to keep the conversation going

User Flow 2 Animation

Fancy looking at the clickable version?

I’d like to consider some next steps…

  • Add additional options for the initial ‘like’: I’d like to test the concept of an ‘I like music’ feature to provide further insights to shared interests.
  • ‘What we have in common’ feature: Create and test this concept to see if it helped increase successful matches.
  • User Test the ‘I’m online’ indicator concept: Is this feature actually counterproductive to encouraging meaningful connections, adding pressure to respond quickly?

What have I learnt?



UX Designer | UX Researcher | Coach

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