Connect With Tech Minded People in The Friendliest Dating App Around

Coderus conducted user research and found a gap in the UK market for a dating app that targets friendly tech-minded people and neurodiverse individuals. From this, we designed an app called “Codenected” which is a friendlier way to date and a place where people with special tech interests can get to know each other.

Client: Coderus Creative Concepts | Codenected
Industry: Consumer

At a Glance

  • We designed a dating app targeted towards individuals interested in technology and gaming.

  • We designed a dating app that is nicer and more friendly than other dating apps.

  • We designed a dating app that is focussed on compatibility more than appearance.

There has been a lot of news recently about dating apps particularly their increased use during lockdown. We became very intrigued by this and wondered what kinds of apps there were currently out there for dating and if there was currently a gap in the market for an app like ours. We believe there is and we hope someone likes it and wants to invest in it and launch it with us.
Marketing Team
Coderus

The Challenge

As part of our “Coderus Creative Concepts Campaign”, in February 2021, our team set out to find a gap in the UK friendship/dating app market. As individuals interested in technology and a team of neurodiverse individuals, we posed the question: “What are the biggest challenges that this user group faces in regards to the current friendship/dating apps out there?”

From this, we interviewed family members, friends, community members and individuals on our team and asked them this question and if they could create an app what kinds of features would it include?

Some of the challenges we identified were:

  • There are dating apps that have app algorithms and settings that reinforce bias and are discriminatory, only showing individuals people who look “similar” to their own appearance – and do this over and over again. However, the purpose of dating and friendship apps is to help individuals discover new people they are compatible with.
  • Current features on some dating apps primarily serve confident and extroverted individuals while introverted and more anxious individuals get left behind if they are not able to initiate a conversation very easily.
  • Neurodiverse individuals and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder do not consider themselves as disabled and do not like marketing activities, technologies and apps that target them in this way. They do, however, tend to have special interests and would like safe and secure areas they can meet and connect with people who share these interests.
  • There should be more options than just swiping left or right on someone – because relationships and life do not completely exist on separate ends of the spectrum.
  • Individuals who are on the Autism Spectrum have found some dating apps “shallow and demeaning.”
  • Most dating apps utilise microtransactions in order to see who has liked you. While this model is the main economic model behind most dating apps, this can be frustrating for individuals who may not have the funds or who tend to ruminate on these kinds of things. Essentially, we needed to figure out a way to reduce the cost to the user to use the primary functionalities.
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The Methodology

We conducted an exploration session with our UX/UI team and marketing department where we analysed the ratings, key features and target audiences of popular dating apps in the following categories:

  • LGBTQ+ Dating Apps
  • Religious Dating Apps
  • Casual Dating Apps
  • Dating Apps for Relationships
  • Elite Dating Apps
  • Fetish Dating Apps
  • Race Specific Dating Apps
  • Autism Dating Apps

In tandem with this, we had a look at published research articles on how certain algorithms and features encourage discrimination and bias. This helped us figure out how we might implement features to keep this from happening within our app and make the app more focussed on overall compatibility while still giving the user customisation.

We also conducted qualitative research, reaching out to neurodiverse family members, friends, community members, LinkedIn members and individuals on our team about features that they would include on an app and how this would differ from other apps currently out there targeted towards people like themselves.

During this discovery phase, we also looked at the nature of individuals within the technology sector as well as the events, groups and communities these individuals tend to be a part of. We found that the overall consensus was that these groups are very supportive, friendly and welcoming and these users may be inclined to use an app such as the one we were creating.

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The Tech_

  • We recommend that both iOS and Android versions of the app are created.
  • We would use machine learning and AI to help the app show you individuals you would be most compatible with based on your quizzes.
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The Results

We designed an application called Codenected with the following features:

 

The Design Choices

 

When you initially have an idea for an app you have a rough image in your head about how you’d like it to look. This could be influenced by designs you’ve seen recently, colours and trends you like etc. However, most of the time this won’t fit the purpose and the target audience of your app.

With Codenected, we had to assess what design challenges there were going to be considering our target audience is so diverse and has so many various needs and requirements. While the app concept is a unique idea and we are proud it is aimed at neurodiverse users, we did not want it to appear that we were designing it differently and segregating these users from those who use other dating apps. We needed to combine the successful qualities of these apps with modified features to better suit the needs of our users.

We kept the design clean and simple with a muted colour palette, using shadowing and raised UI styling to clearly highlight the key features on each screen. Traditionally, dating apps have the accept/decline feature, we’ve taken a twist on this and replaced the decline option with a ‘Friendzone button’. This is not to be taken as a negative but simply stating the user is not romantically compatible with this person, let’s be friends instead. This feature hopefully eliminates that initial fear of rejection, and alternatively opens opportunities for more than romantic relationships.

The UX flow of the screens are designed so the user is never lost and always feels in control; no complex swipe or flicking backwards and forwards actions. Each screen clearly states at the top what is the purpose of that screen and the user can exit that feature at any time. The screens are finished with clear iconography and modifiable features such as filters and pop-up suggestions and tips to allow the users to feel more confident and at ease in the often-uncomfortable environment of dating.

 

Codenected Compatibility

 

Our dating app is built around questionnaires/quizzes instead of an immediate “Swipe Right” function. Each profile has 5 short questionnaires/quizzes associated with them picked from a range of options that the individual sets up when creating a profile. These will be used by users who are interested in having a romantic connection to assess initial compatibility and cover things like hobbies, interests, food, favourite superheroes, etc.

Passing a quiz increases the chance of compatibility, and when all of the quizzes are answered (most successfully) the chat window with the potential partner is opened. The goal of the app is to have people take and pass your quizzes to establish a connection with them. The profile holder will decide what level of compatibility needs to be reached by all of the quizzes in order to be considered compatible. The reason for this is some users believe “opposites attract” and we don’t want to exclude this group.

 

Game-On & Games Centre

 

To attract people interested in technology and gaming – there is a “Games Centre” that allows you to play games in-app as well as online. Users can connect their own gaming profiles if interested. There is also an option to invite someone to “Game-On” with you directly from the app.

 

The “Friendzone”

 

Just because someone isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with someone doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in being friends with that person. As such, we don’t have a “Swipe Left” function. There is also the argument that a strong friendship can lead to a lasting and successful long-term romantic relationship. We will, however, allow people to block individuals if they are being harassed or if they really do not want to talk to that other person and have to make a conscious decision not to do so.

In the Friendzone, you have the option to chat and play games and compete in trivia with this person still. There are also different communities within the Friendzone that you can add yourself to when you set up your profile to connect as a friend with people who have similar interests.

 

Perhaps you could say…

 

If a person takes someone’s quiz and is compatible enough a chat feature will open up allowing the person to communicate with the other individual. For those who aren’t sure how to initiate a conversation, a number of prompts will appear with options to jump-start the communications. Alternatively, the individual can choose to start a game with that person instead if there is still some anxiety to soften the initial communications.

 

Other Key Features

 

We recognise that this application should also be able to be customised by the user for specific things including:

  • Sexual Preference: To ensure that the dating component shows people you would most likely be interested in romantically, we are allowing people to filter results by pronouns for the dating component specifically. i.e. I prefer to be romantically involved with individuals with he/him pronouns.
  • Friendzone Settings: The Friendzone is not filtered by sexual preference. However, to ensure the Friendzone is diverse but bespoke, the only way to customise your Friendzone is to add yourself into specific communities and meet individuals through these communities within the app.
  • Monetisation: We found a way that we could monetise the app outside of users paying to use the application and will discuss this with whoever may be interested in investing in the application.

We’d love to help you bring your concept to life!

If you’ve got an app or piece of software in mind, get in touch with us today to start your project.