ZOOSK | Product design

Updating an experience for 40m people

ROLE

Design Lead

TEAM

Engineering
API
Marketing

OVERVIEW

Zoosk, an almost 10-year-old dating app needed an upgrade to fit the demand of 41 million worldwide users. At the time of the creative brief, the profile experience of the product hadn't been optimized significantly in about 7 years. To just jump in and begin thinking of solutions presented a challenge since the Zoosk ecosystem was extremely sensitive.

Another challenge was that Zoosk serves a broad demographic (18-80), so our design decisions have to take that into account when trying to drastically change the system or introduce a new feature set. We initially started with a wishlist of deliverables the redesign would achieve. We quickly realized that that was not the best approach, so sitting with our stakeholders we rallied behind the idea that everyone is unique and what were some initiatives we could drive that could better showcase that. Thus fostering richer connection. The conversation became  “What makes a compelling dating profile” and “What makes a user want to engage with another.”


Initial research

40m + spoke. We replied.

Based on the results of this exercise, we built our journey around achieving these things. I began to look at our competitors as well as companies outside of the dating space for inspiration. I  went through many rounds of iteration and discussions with stakeholders before we arrived at our MVP pitch. The main idea was to engage the user to focus on the main profile screen.

Once approved by the board, we began to flesh out the idea and test mockups with users before passing the concept onto development. Once launched we saw a significant increase in interactions, add-on purchases, and subscriptions. Although this was just the beginning, these were exciting results and validated our exploration. Following the launch, My project teammate Jessica and I gave a presentation on the process at SF design week.

It was a risk! A huge one! We introduced several changes such as profile navigation, messaging experience and how one digested a profile. Upon the initial rollout of this theory, we received feedback which varied from client to client. This allowed us to set a plan for continued optimizations, but ultimately the numbers looked great. Profile views and interactions were up week after week. A trend we tracked for 6 months. After another round of optimization, we saw a significant increase in profile interactions as well as message initiations.

This allowed us to comfortably roll out the update to all platforms. The new profile rollout was just the beginning of our product overhaul, but it was a significant leap to allow us to set the stage for our new initiatives. Following the release. Jessica and I hosted a design week talk that took place at Zoosk HQ. We discussed the challenges, solutions and exciting findings. While this was an extremely challenging project that took over a year, I think it was at least equally rewarding

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