Things to consider while creating a Dating App that meets user expectations

There is no shortage of dating apps on the market and for good reason. The demand for a service to expedite the process of finding a potential partner seems to be ever-increasing, with no scope for a decline in sight.

While there is an abundance of dating apps out there, there aren’t many that capture the fancy of users. Satisfying the majority of users with a single dating app has proved to be one of the trickiest landscapes to navigate over the past few years. Entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of this landscape that is swamped with low-quality apps can certainly conquer the domain with enough care and strategy.

What are consumer expectations?

Research shows that security and privacy are the topmost concerns for users in a dating app. Crime statistics are in complete agreement as well. There has been a steady rise in the number of people that reported being raped on their first date with a person they met online or via a dating app.

If you wish to build an app that takes over the masses, you might even consider implementing security checks for who is allowed to sign up. Providing a safe and secure environment for the users can be your app’s edge over all the other competitors.

Moving on to the second most valued feature of a dating app – an intuitive user interface. While this should come as no surprise, it is something to be carefully considered right from the design phase itself. Tinder not only made it extremely easy to search for interesting partners around your location but also made the switch from scrolling through multiple profiles at a time to the now-prominent swiping method. Tinder has a stylish and smart user interface that makes it engaging as well as simple for users.

Other popular dating apps you must be aware of are Bumble, Her, OkCupid, Hinge, and Zoosk.

There are also apps that have cornered niche markets and are doing spectacularly well within them. Her and Grindr are the most successful apps for the gay demographic. Then there’s also JSwipe – a dating app aimed at the Jews, and Dine – a place to book a direct dinner date. All of these apps enjoy great reviews from the majority of their users.

The Holy Trinity of dating app essentials

We are talking about Access Control, Matching, and Messaging.

According to studies and consumer expectations, these are the top three functionalities that need to be as close to ideal as possible in order for your dating app to fly.

Access Control

Most dating apps on the market today allow their users to sign up on the app through Facebook, whether it be on Android or iOS. This is done not only because the one-click sign-up solution is much more effective, but also so that layers of user data can be accessed. This data can then be used to match the users with singles in their area through common interests and hobbies or mutual friends.

One of the most important things to keep in mind here is that your app should never post or share any information associated with the dating app on the Facebook timeline. This could absolutely be a make-or-break for your app and the security features must be implemented thoroughly. Even though most apps offer a ‘Sign in via Facebook’ option, most users do not opt for it because of safety or privacy concerns. Users even find the idea a bit embarrassing and are reluctant to share this part of their life with others as freely.

The lesbian dating app Her provides a good example. When users sign up for the app using Facebook, the app checks whether the user is female or not to keep women from being matched with straight men. There is an added functionality here too – Her uses the supplied e-mail address to cross-check with databases and see if the address has been used to create an account on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Foursquare. This helps Her know if the user is a real person or not and also if they are female.

Zoosk takes in photographs and verifies whether they are actually yours. Bumble and Hinge take in records of your friends, where you went to school, where you work and so on when you match with someone. All this is very important to build the credibility of the app. To make sure the users do not upload pictures that contain nudity or are obscene, they can be examined manually.

Not too long ago, online dating was associated with scams and fakery. Hiding behind the mask of anonymity was commonplace and the websites that facilitated these interactions had no credibility. Things have come a long way since then. Today, the more transparency your app has, the better are its chances of success and approval. The dating app experience is now all about meeting new people and you need to motivate users to show their personal information on your app for a better match.

Matching

Is it possible to find people their soulmates using math? This has been one of the most intriguing, if not critical, questions our generation has had to face.

Most apps do work on some sort of a framework or a matching algorithm. But it is not absolutely essential that your app has the best-in-class mathematical equations to estimate personality and interests.

Tinder uses location and preferences as criteria to match people. While on Hinge, you can only match with people you have mutual friends with. Dine, on the other hand, integrates with Yelp to send users on a dinner date from the app itself.

If you belong to the other school of thought and think that algorithms are the solution to finding a partner, there are apps that seem to have cracked the code successfully as well. OkCupid is one of the most successful examples of implementing matchmaking technology. The app is unique in that it asks you questions like “Are you a cat or a dog person?” and then compares answers to the database of other user’s answers and preferences. OkCupid gives you a percentage that is the ‘compatibility score’ you have with another user.

Another interesting case study to look at is Synapse – the matching algorithm behind Match.com and the Match app. It uses information such as interests, preferences, and on-site actions stated to find the users the perfect match/date.


Messaging

We cannot possibly overestimate the importance of efficient and intuitive messaging within a dating app. The point of all that we have discussed before is to find people matches and get the conversation started.

However, if you have ever used Tinder before, you know that most people don’t immediately reply to their matches. People prefer to keep looking at options and delay on replying to the current match. This happens more often than you can imagine and people even ignore their matches often. Since there is no rule about who messages first, the situation kind of gets stale after a point and matches are neglected.

Both Bumble and JSwipe have found their way out of this problem in two different ways. On Bumble, it is always the women who need to message first. On JSwipe, matches expire. This forces both parties to jump right into the conversation as soon as they get a match.

A different approach is taken by OkCupid, where it is not necessary for you to match with someone in order to start messaging them. While it does have its benefits in terms of promoting more conversations among users, it also leads to more people receiving inappropriate and/or unwanted messages.

To push people towards starting conversations with their matches, you could use reminders in the form of push notifications that urge them to initiate a chat with their match.

Conclusion

The days of meeting that special someone at the movies or perhaps a cafe are gone. Of course, there are apps for that!

The world has never been as connected as it is today. When on the lookout for a soulmate, or even a short-term relationship, people prefer to choose from a multitude of options available at a touch of the screen. Here is a quick 5 step round-up on how you can develop and create the next Tinder:

Step 1: Analyze the functionality and main benefits your app offers

Step 2: Create the structure, design, and interface for the app

Step 3: Choose the right tech stack

Step 4: Add MVP features and start testing rounds

Step 5: Add ways to monetize your creation

Overall, the market for dating apps is indeed wide open for a better, more cohesive solution. But getting to the top is inevitably going to be a tough climb. This sector currently requires creativity and innovation more than any other domain we can think of.