Online dating is problematic because it is either focused on superficial visual attraction (Tinder) or questions to evaluate lifestyle compatibility (OK Cupid, eHarmony), such as eating habits, dating style, and political leanings. But that's what friends are for.
Evaluating a potential connection with someone based on lifestyle compatibility is more appropriate for friendships; yet people use dating apps to find love. It’s time a dating app was focused on helping people connect in the ways they most give and receive love from others.
Ever since I read Gary Chapman's "5 Love Languages" I knew I wanted to see a dating app focused on connecting people who share common love languages.
Gary Chapman proposes that everyone gives and receives love in five different ways:
My app would have to make each of these front and center, the main way people would find and connect with each other. To start my prototyping process, I wrote a word document expressing my goals and values with the app. I wrote this slogon-type statement: “We help you find long lasting, healthy relationships with romantic partners who speak your love language.”
I experimented a little bit with different ways of visualizing the connections between love languages, such as comparison lists with numerical values and bar graphs. I remembered seeing while working in the video games industry a pentagram type graph that measured 5 different values. The vertices in each corner of the pentagram moved away from the center as the associated stat grew larger.
I sketched on a sticky note my first design.
Knowing my goal was to learn how to use Adobe XD, I figured this concept was good enough to move forward.
I got comfortable using XD's art tools and created icons to represent each love language, affirmations, touch, time, service, gifts.
After doing research with Tinder (ahem), my first version looked like the below, where users would swipe side to side to read about the diferent love languages and see profiles.
Adobe XD's flexibility in how you arrange your artboards on the canvas allows for unexpected discoveries to occur. While moving my profile screens around I stacked them vertically, rather than horizontally, and it dawned on me I should make the profile discovery page more like an Instagram feed rather than a side to side swipe through profiles. Afterall, I prefer using my thumb for up/down scrolling than side to side swiping.
After that, it was simply a matter of thinking through all the actions a user would take to use my app and build the appropriate screens and content. Below you can try the app directly in your browser. Download the .XD file to take a closer look at how I organized it, the symbols I made, the notes I wrote, etc.
I think an app like this has potential, and I am excited at the possibility of quickly evaluating in a visual form whether a potential date gives love in the ways that I most feel loved.
I had a blast using Adobe XD and want to use it more. I loved how lightweight it felt and yet powerful enough to let me do what I wanted with my prototype. I was able to learn XD from scratch and build the prototype within 20 days, while also being super sick with a horrendous cough of death.
My favorite features of Adobe XD are: