Makr is a self-initiated project aimed to help people make real connections while dating. Makr first began as a General Assembly bootcamp project in which I continued to reiterate and improve upon the initial designs.
What did the client want?
The task was to determine if there is a way to enhance the dating experience.
What was the problem they wanted to solve?
We did not begin with a preconceived problem, but instead aimed to learn about the dating experience as it currently exists. We sought to identify potential issues that could be addressed through design.
Since this project was set up as a design sprint, we devoted as much time as possible to understanding the situation and potential customers. We concluded that interviews would be the best way to gather information quickly.
We interviewed about a dozen people with diverse backgrounds about their dating experiences. Since the interview process was our only source, we aimed to gather as much information as possible about the current state of dating, including both the good and the pitfalls they encountered while dating.
“The one good thing about dating sites is that you know everyone there is there to date…more or less. Sometimes when you meet someone in person you’re not sure what their intentions are. At least with Tinder and stuff like that, I can guess where their heads are at.” — Bella W.
“One of the best dates I’ve ever had was with my wife, before we were married of course. There was a guy selling piña coladas by the street and it just added a bit of spontaneity, that made the date that much more memorable.” — Jason L.
After conducting the interviews, we had a lot of information to sort through. To simplify the process, we decided to group the insights into different categories.
After organizing all the information we obtained during the interview process, we needed to distill it even further. We started by defining a problem that people are actually facing.
What are they trying to do? What are their goals?
Meet new people and make connections with them.
Experience new and exciting things.
Assure them that they are not wasting their time.
What do you think is motivating them?
The potential of finding a partner.
Having fun while going out.
Keeping this information in mind, we defined the problem instead of proposing a solution.
Single individuals need to make authentic connections to save time and emotional energy.
Now that we have an actual problem to solve, we want to create a user persona to keep us focused on the key users. Instead of simply brainstorming potential software features, we're asking ourselves, "What does this person need to solve their problem?”
Next, we wrote a series of "How might we...?" statements. This approach helped us suggest areas of focus while still allowing us to address the problem in multiple ways.
How might we help Sara learn about her date’s values and interests on the first date?
How might we create an ideal date environment?
How might we make dating less emotionally taxing?
How might we shorten the time needed to make an authentic connection?
We asked ourselves, "Instead of trying to reinvent the entire dating process, what if we simply interjected into a piece of it, with the hope that it leads to people making genuine connections?”
During the brainstorming session, our goal was to design solutions that would produce the desired outcomes for our users. Additionally, we prioritized opportunities while keeping in mind the baseline functionalities.
We then decided to create a location-based app that suggests date spots based on user preferences, such as indoor vs. outdoor, budget, and activity level.
We began outlining the various flows that the user would take, including signing in or signing up, selecting a date location, receiving personalized recommendations on the dashboard, and providing additional information to receive more tailored matches.
The next step in the process was to create some low-fidelity designs to plan out interactions and the necessary components. We simply sketched out our ideas before moving on to high-fidelity designs.
To streamline the sign-in and sign-up processes, we aimed to minimize the amount of information users need to fill out, avoiding overwhelming them with unnecessary details.
After presenting our solution, we received some feedback. Unfortunately, we were not able to properly test our designs. To determine whether this solution is a viable option, we need to conduct extensive user and market testing to see how the public responds to it.
Overall, this was a great learning experience and allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the UX process. This will help in creating better products in the future.
I'm Anthony, a self-taught product designer from Los Angeles. I specialize in creating digital experiences that help clients meet their business goals.
Check out more work at www.anthonymartinez.io