Shuffle

Product Design

Shuffle

Spring 2017

Product Design

Shuffle is the ultimate dating app. Since nearly every dating site or app uses only a few different criteria to delineate themselves from others, we decided that online dating could be expanded to a network in which users could create their own dating channels.

The Rigidity of the Feed

We began our thinking around the algorithms that control how we see content. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it, all use algorithmic feeds to show you the content they think you'll be interested in. Often they do a good job of giving us the content we want to see but they are strictly closed systems.

None of these apps allow us to tweak or adjust the algorithms in the back end. We wanted to create an interface that allowed users to construct the parameters of their own algorithmic feeds and change them. Initially this took the form of a drag and drop UI for quickly adapting users' Twitter feeds. We felt that this lacked breadth and we ultimately decided to pivot towards a service that could really use this level of customization.

We found that nearly every dating app or website differs by only a few arbitrary parameters such as who messages first, how you match, who you’re looking for, and proximity.

  • Messaging

    Communication channels can be opened through mutual agreement (Tinder), determined by one party (Bumble), or a complete free-for-all (Grindr).

  • Matching

    The degree to which users can seek partners and browse a pool of potential matches can be almost unlimited (Tinder) or as limited (Coffee Meets Bagel) as a platform wants.

  • Traits

    Parameters as specific as race (Bae), ethnicity (JSwipe), or religion (ChristianMingle) can be used to attract desired users and deter incompatible ones.

  • Proximity

    Many apps also make the range of location a feature of their platform. Some allow users to determine their own location and scope of distance (Tinder) or rely on immediate proximal encounters (Happn).

Guiding Principles

The existing landscape of mobile dating requires one to either use apps that cast too wide a net or use platforms that cater to specific demographics that are still relatively general. This has created a disenchanted user base and a host of developers that scramble to fill every gap and niche in a burgeoning spectrum of digital romance.

Market saturation has led to consumer app fatigue. What we wanted to do was attempt to create a more holistic dating experience. Current apps seek to "streamline" digital dating by making one-size-fits-all solutions. But problems will inevitably arise if you create singular user-journeys for the sake of efficiency.

We designed our platform with the understanding that dating is a nebulous and complex social custom. Therefore it should be celebrated as such. In prototyping the platform, we wanted to highlight the strengths inherent in the diversity of people's dating preferences whilst simultaneously boiling down the interactions needed to find and customize dating channels.

SEARCH THROUGH TAGS


When searching for a specific group of potential partners, users use tags to hone their search results and find channels tailored to their interests. Channels can feature several tags for higher specificity, or only a few for a more general experience.

ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES


With Shuffle, users can browse a diverse selection of dating channels with the ease of a swipe. Each dating channel operates as a sort of micro dating-app. We call these Dapps for short.


The strength of Shuffle is in the range of specificity that Dapps can have. Browse through a large pool of individuals on a general "Casual-Encounters" Dapp (much like Tinder) or find yourself talking directly to a group of users on a "Bisexual Train Enthusiasts" Dapp (maybe we'll call this Conductr?)

SIMPLE CUSTOMIZATION


Currently if your dating preferences don’t fall into the predefined categories on existing apps, then you’re out of luck. Shuffle seeks to create a dating platform for users looking to find others that share their idiosyncratic interests.


Much like how users on reddit can create their own subreddits, users on Shuffle can quickly create their own Dating-apps, or Dapps for short. When making a Dapp, users can create specific parameters, tags, and media inputs for others to populate.

INTUITIVE SELECTION


Once within a Dapp, the user now has access to a pool of individuals that share their unique interests. Happy Shuffling!