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.
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.
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.