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At a glance


Online dating has been prevalent in many people’s lives as they search for a partner. However, for many, it’s simply not working: instead leading to a cycle of constant swiping on new possibilities, “getting-to-know-you conversations,” and planning dates that may go nowhere.

Users are reporting feeling burnt out and needing a break from these apps. How can we alleviate this issue and introduce new features that help users connect?


In our quantitative research class, we were asked to pick a company with a pressing problem and run a study to create evidence-based solutions. I took this further in my own time to create a UX Case Study using our data. 


Three Months 


Figma & Figjam



NYT Article 1.png

213 Respondents

“A Decade of Fruitless Searching” 

This project started when this headline caught my eye in the New York Times. The article went on to talk about how young people are burnt out from online dating and that it’s starting to take a toll on mental health. With a qualitative analysis project needing a topic, I brought this to my groupmates in my Marketing Research class and it struck a chord for all of us. There is growing public discourse about how dating today feels harder than ever and the online nature of it all seems to be fueling the fire. 

Online dating is taking a toll on users and we wanted to find out why. 

User Research

For this research, we created a Qualtrics survey to inquire about aspects of dating with a focus on Hinge. 

A total of 213 responses were collected via an online questionnaire, with people aged 18-45. Other demographics such as gender, sexuality, and relationship status were also measured.

We open the first half of the survey by asking about dating in general and especially online dating. Those in relationships were also encouraged to take the survey as we wanted to find out who had found success as well as those who were still single. We asked what made them feel the most connected if they were burnt out, and for those who had success, we asked how it happened. 

The second half focuses on Hinge specifically narrowing down on specific features and sentiments. We measured all features, their importance to users, and how the app made users feel. 

Secondary Research 

According to research by Leah LeFebvre, an associate professor of communications studies at the University of Alabama, more than half of the 395 Tinder users she surveyed in 2017 had deleted the app multiple times. In nearly 40% of those cases, it was because the user had started a relationship. But 35% of participants said they got rid of the app because they “felt unsuccessful.” In other words, this meant they either had “no responses, no matches, no potential partners or negative experiences.”


A 2020 Pew Research Center survey found that 37 percent of online daters said someone continued to contact them after they said they weren’t interested, and 35 percent had received unwanted sexually explicit texts or images.

Research Process

1. Brainstorm 

We brainstormed several areas of study including streaming services, BeReal, Doulingo's recent redesign, and others but ultimately settled on a focus on dating apps particularly Hinge. 

2. Defining the Problem 

Next, we defined our problem in a three-page write-up. We included the group addressed (Hinge management), the importance of the issue, why it warrants research, analysis of secondary sources, and our initial hypothesis. 

3. The Questionnaire  

Thirdly we developed the questionnaire identifying our predictions and laying out how we addressed them throughout our questioning. This was presented for feedback. 

4. Collection 

Our survey was then distributed through social channels where we collected over 200 responses in our targeted demographic through Qualtrics. 

5. Analysis 

The data collected was brought into excel where we used numerous statistical tests to test our theories in addition to discovering new patterns in the data. All solutions presented had to be significant with 95% confidence.

6. Final Paper

Findings were summarised in a 12-page paper discussing our methodology and the findings of the research conducted. 


In relation to dating...

77% felt burnt out
88% needed a break
70% had not found success through dating apps
89% had deleted a dating app (only 23% from finding someone) that's bleak

Our initial assumptions were significantly confirmed in the data that we saw. Young people are burnt out on dating apps and few are finding success. What can Hinge, one of the most popular and innovative dating apps among young people, do to be a better experience?  

Some Actionable Findings 

Several questions were asked about the importance of aspects of a potential match in terms of connection. Two notable elements that were shown to be significant were "interests" and "hobbies." Apps such as Bumble have features to highlight interests and hobbies but Hinge lacks such a feature.

Prompt Type Comparison

"Please rate the following Hinge profile features by importance

*We define importance as features that have engaged you with your matches."

1-7  Very unimportant - Very Important






All results were found to be significant to the alpha .05 level using univariate t-tests measuring at a benchmark of 4 (mean). 

Hinge features

"What is your opinion on each of the following Hinge features?"

1-7  Very negative - Very positive


Likes You

✅ Most Compatible
❌ Dating Prefernces

All results were found to be significant to the alpha .05 level using univariate t-tests measuring at a benchmark of 4 (mean). 



Wireframes & Initial Designs

The Profile

Interest Prompt

Users will be able to create an interests and hobbies prompt. Common interests will be highlighted and brought to the front. 

Interest Indicators
Interest Indicators

Shared interests will be populated at the top of the profile with an indicator to show how many shared hobbies, interests, and dating preferences you share with a potential match.

Common Traits

To make it easier to visually see the traits that potential matches have in common, a check mark was added.  This helps the user quickly skim and pick out key aspects that the match may have in common. 


How can we make matches more meaningful? 
Accountability &
your digital wingman


Matches often have no accountability to reconnect once a conversation peters off or someone gets busy. It can be awkward to text after a few days or a week after matching and this causes users to swipe for more matches instead of connecting with current ones.


This can be solved with Digitial Wingman, a feature designed to reconnect users with a playful poke about a common interest or fact about them. 


Richer Chats

Currently, the chat remains blank when users haven't messaged each other. There's an opportunity to make this a richer experience by connecting users based on their traits and interests nipping writers block in the bud.

Let's Chat


Displaying the activity status of other users can motivate them to initiate communication or respond to messages. This can improve the quality of the match by increasing the likelihood that both parties will actively engage with each other. Hinge only currently uses this with matching and not in the chat area.


Josh is typing...

Displaying a typing indicator to other users and sending a push notification has been shown to increase the likelihood that they will send the message on apps like Snapchat. Hinge currently lacks this feature. 


Reply to prompts

Prompts are a great way to start conversations, however, after replying to the initial prompt users lack a way to respond to the rest of a match's profile. Prompt Reply allows them to do this and spark new conversations. 


The idea behind the group of features presented above is an ecosystem of features surrounding interests that hopefully go beyond isolated ideas. These features seek to intertwine throughout the whole experience from matching, to chatting, bringing connection full circle and making the matches we have more meaningful. By reducing friction in connecting with the matches we already have we can reduce endless swiping and increase the odds that we connect with those already in our matches. 

This project was a really deep exploration into quantitative research for me and I felt significantly more substantial in my analytical skills after its completion. If I were to do it again I think the biggest mistake we made was asking users to rate the importance of several features at once instead of ranking them. Ranking would have forced users to choose priorities more explicitly and make the data easier to analyze. 

Thank you to my groupmates, Maya and Chance, for their work in the research stage of this project.

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