13” WHY

Redesigning Tinder for Digital Intimacy

The aim of this project is to redesign an existing application that enables forming and maintaining meaningful social connections to address a specific human need identified with methods from human centred design, especially dilemma-driven design (dr. Deger Ozkaramanli). The project is done in close collaboration with users to understand their goals, needs and use contexts so as to develop appropriate innovative solutions.

The design process consists of the following steps:

  1. Selecting an application to redesign (->Tinder);
  2. Assessing the chosen application from usability and user experience viewpoints;
  3. Interviewing and observing current users’ interactions with the chosen application to identify their emotions and underlying concerns, and discerning users’ dilemmas;
  4. Generating new design ideas and elaborating on possible use scenarios;
  5. Creating a design prototype and evaluating it with the targeted users.

The app chosen for this project is Tinder – one of the most popular dating apps among the current youth (La Roche, 2018). Tinder lets people “like”/”dislike” other people based on their profiles, and allows them to chat if both persons have “liked” each other (i.e. if a “match” has occurred). The user interface and swiping interaction has had a large influence on culture. Often, people use the term “swipe left/right” to indicate their like or dislike of everyday objects, situations, or people not only in smartphone applications, but also in real-life situations. It has changed the way many (young) people approach dating in general – the so-called “Tinder effect”.

However, Tinder is often seen as a superficial hook-up platform in which users are mainly focused on assessing the physical features of others. This negative reputation urged us to choose Tinder as the application to base our work on.

The aim of the project is to design for digital intimacy to enable forming and maintaining meaningful social connections via the use of smartphone applications. Taking into account the occasional negative reputation of Tinder, we defined meaningful connections as connections that are not only based on physical attraction and looks, but also on a “deeper”, more emotional level, such as common interests or viewpoints.

Final design proposal is a mobile application focused on initiating chats with other people.
Some of the features of the final design:

  • Blurred images
  • Audio-based descriptions
  • Automatic positive reinforcement messages
  • Random matches between currently online users
  • Daily conversation topics
  • Unlocking information about other users by answering questions about them

Demo video

Team members:

Eva Maria Veitmaa
Iza Grasselli
Annkatrin Jung
Laura Ham
Chloé Mélanie Dalger


dr. Deger Ozkaramanli

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