Tinder Community Mode

Transforming Swipes Into Real-Life Connections By Leveraging Shared Community

Tinder's Community Mode is a new feature that encourages real-life meetings. It capitalizes on events that users already attend and interests they already have, offering an alternative to endless swiping. Community Mode presents users with local events tailored to the interests of their matches.
Context: 9-Week Exploratory Project
Role: Product Designer, UX Researcher
Tools: Figma, Adobe Creative Cloud
Notes: Initial project was done in Fall 2021, Updated in Winter 2023
Problem: Tinder, emphasizing surface-level qualities, often results in endless swiping and messaging instead of meaningful dates.
Opportunity: How might we use Tinder to improve in-person dating by connecting individuals through shared interests and activities?
Solution: Leverage local community events, which people are already attending, as a platform to foster genuine connections beyond just swiping and messaging on screen.

Curated Gamified Event Discovery

Event discovery is customized according to individual preferences. Using Tinder's world-renowned algorithms, recommendations are generated based on factors such as shared interests, past event attendance, stated preferences, and geographical proximity. The process of discovering events leverages Tinder's enjoyable swiping motion.

Communities are the Foundation of New Relationships

Leveraging the communities where users are already active and participate is crucial. By recommending events users are already attending, the likelihood and ease of meeting people who are nearby and share similar interests increases. These shared interests play a significant role in how users are suggested in community mode. People who frequently attend the same events as the user are marked with a community mode sticker, indicating they are already part of the user’s community.

Safety and Consent are sexy

Safety is paramount in online dating. Users have control over their visibility and can choose to share only information they are comfortable with, such as specific event attendance or interests. In Community Mode, active consent is emphasized. Users must invite others for dates to learn about their event attendance. This method adds a touch of romance and personalizes asking someone out on a date, making it more than a mere text.

The end goal is to facilitate in-person interactions within the communities Users are already a part of

The end goal of this mode is to facilitate in-person dates. It's not focused on finding new matches but on deepening connections with existing ones. Tinder doesn't offer defined next steps for online dating after the initial match. We provide users with a tangible end goal of a date by integrating local events into the app. Let's celebrate single life face-to-face, not just on the phone.

Gen Z is looking for Novel and spontaneous ways to experience human connection that merge both online and offline worlds.

Since its inception in the early 2000s with sites like eHarmony, online dating has drastically changed the way people connect. Its influence spiked in 2012 with the advent of mobile dating apps like Tinder. Initially launched on US college campuses, Tinder is now the top non-gaming app worldwide with over 450 million downloads. The app embraces the journey of singlehood and the process of meeting new people, evolving the methods of connection without changing the underlying reasons.

As Tinder's CEO, Renate Nyborg, notes, Gen Z is seeking novel, fun, and spontaneous ways to experience human connection that bridge the online and offline realms.

Online dating isn’t going away anytime soon.

The U.S. online dating market has consistently grown over the past few years. In 2022, the United States had 57.44 million online dating users. While people may not all use Tinder for the same purposes, they are all on the platform to have a good time and make connections. Tinder has several positive aspects, such as its large user base and relaxed nature. The challenge is to identify how Tinder can bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds.

How might we use Tinder as a tool to enhance the in-person dating experience by connecting people based on their shared interests and activities?

People already attend community events due to their hobbies, a desire to engage with their community, or because friends invite them. However, factors like scheduling conflicts or shyness can make it challenging for some to network in person. My main objective was to design a feature that encourages users to connect with others in their community they might otherwise overlook. This connection would begin through a digital platform but transition to in-person interactions in a safe environment.

Continuous iterations based on feedback from user testing

The development process of a dating app shifted from a gamified matching system to a community hub focused on event discovery. Initial iterations faced issues with user engagement and safety concerns. The final iteration emphasized a 'home base' for event discovery, with curated event suggestions based on user interests, which improved user privacy and consent.

Project Reflection

Everything old will become new again.
Tinder was created as a response to the monotony of traditional dating. People sought a fresh approach to dating that differed from their usual methods. However, now the trend is reversing, with many yearning for the return of traditional, face-to-face dating. It's a reminder that we can always revisit old methods in a new context to inspire innovative solutions.

Time away led to new insights
After presenting my initial project, I didn't revisit it until I needed to update my portfolio over a year later. With plenty of time to review my work, I was able to make continuous improvements. By revisiting my research and user feedback, I gained new insights, which led me to make significant changes. As a result, I've developed a product that I'm proud of.

Reach out to me for more information.

© 2024 Francis Phan