Spontaneous Dating App Prototype 

Test a hypothesis for fun

As a user of dating apps myself, I had a few assumptions about users of these products. 1) One of the biggest pain points is actually getting to the big event of meeting someone. In other words, scheduling stinks, and users would like to smooth that out. 2) The more dates users go on, the more likely they are to find someone they like. Best way to go on more dates? Fill in random spaces of time between other activities. Ergo, spontaneity. 3) I'm not convinced that complicated algorithms work better at matching people than the fact they are simply available to meet at the same time in the same place. So I created a prototype for an app called AdLib to test these assumptions.

Sketch Various Concepts

Would users be more interested in seeing who was 'free now,' or would it make more sense to enter the time they were free and go from there? There were many different approaches I could take, so I sketched out 6 of them. At this point I knew I'd be testing wireframes in a prototype, so I went with the one I felt was best.

Wireframe out the winner

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I created wireframes for the ideal user flow through the app, which I then put into InVision to prototype for testing.

Test the Prototype

Guerilla testing with friends is actually pretty fun. You can do it anywhere, especially with an app like this one, which is very appropriate to use during social/leisure time. My testing focused on high level questions of the app's organization and functions, rather than more detailed investigations into micro UX interactions.

Iterate

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My main finding from testing was that users felt very uncomfortable being paired with only one person through the 'auction my time' system. So, for this iteration, I removed that feature from the app and simply let users connect at will through a chat window.

Create a Style Tile to guide design

Artboard

I picked fonts and colors, created icons, and did some inspiration research to help create the look and feel of the app. I wanted it to have a clean, sunny feel with fun, surprising pops of color.

Apply styling to wireframes

What's next for AdLib?

This was a pretty lightweight test of only one user journey through the app, done mainly for fun. There's still a lot I don't know. If I really wanted to go for it, I'd break the whole thing into user stories and do many more tests before getting to UI. I may backtrack a bit and do just that. Stay tuned.  🙂