For Valentine’s Day, the Perfect Companion is User Experience

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday and this means one of the busiest days of the year for dating sites and apps. In fact, last Valentine’s Day was Tinder’s busiest day of the year in terms of activity on their app. However, with all these dating options available to us what’s the difference between online dating and mobile dating? What makes a good mobile dating app? User experience.

While online dating typically focuses on using math, quizzes, and long profiles to make matches — (good) mobile dating apps focus on ease and efficiency for the user. Dating apps shouldn’t be direct copy of a website into a mobile app; some of the best dating apps don’t even have an online equivalent. Top rated dating apps like Tinder offer a limited feature set which is more attractive for mobile design and doesn’t bombard the user with too many options. Similar to going to a restaurant with too many options on the menu, the more options you give a user in an app the less satisfied they feel with their choice. A limited feature set also ensures that the app design doesn’t have a traditional web type feel which can look cluttered.

Furthermore, most dating apps take under five minutes to set-up. Tinder users can download the app, create a profile, and start swiping through accounts in under a minute. Other dating apps like Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Happn, and Badoo have similar profile set-up times for their users. There are no questionnaires to fill out or personality tests to complete compared to apps like OkCupid and Zoosk which are more traditional online dating sites turned into apps.

The user design of a good mobile dating app focuses on what makes the app different compared to online dating. Tinder lets you sort candidates based first on physical attractiveness. Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel only give you a limited time to talk to matches so that you’re less likely to procrastinate on setting up an in-person date. Happn and Badoo shows users where they have crossed paths with other users. Hey! Vina just launched their female friendship app with a similar design and concept to Tinder if you’d rather look for a platonic friend this Valentine’s Day.

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