There is no handbook for romance. This means no one really knows how to do it the “right way”. Couples in our favorite movies and sitcoms paint a beautiful depiction of love. But how do we, the common people, achieve that in our modern dating culture?
Dating apps have given us the power of discovery, but have left us to create and sustain the connection.
In short, we just don’t know how, when things get hard.
Now enters Focus Mode, Hinge's in-app relationship coach.
Conceptual Research and Strategy | User Research | Experience Design and Strategy
The hunt has been simplified, but we don’t really know if the catch is worthy.
When we do meet that certain someone, we are often unclear of what we want in a relationship. With terms like friends with benefits, situationships, ghosting and hook-ups being normalized, communication and longevity are often hard to foster.
It's frustrating when you just want to have an emotional conversation and the other person isn't on the same page.
— Reilly, Situationship (9 Months)
If I could could ask my partner anything, I would ask why is it so hard for him to open up and share every small detail with me.
— Dallas, Committed Relationship (5 Years)
I'm scared that I'm gonna break the relationship before it gets a chance to build by adding unnecessary pressure to it.
— Gemma, Situationship (5 Months)
Sometimes friends with benefits means that communication isn't always needed, so there should be an agreement that if a conversation is needed, respect should still be given.
— Kyla, Friends with Benefits (7 Months)
Allow users to cut through the confusion of dating culture and provide assistance in creating healthy relationships.
Hinge is designed to be deleted. Its mission can become further enhanced by giving daters the tools and knowledge to better understand themselves, their partner, and the realities of a new relationship. They will never have to focus on dating apps ever again.
As a digital dating coach, Focus for Hinge acts as a system-wide integration that provides guided reflections and resolution centered activities to support users in different stages of their online dating experience.
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HOW FOCUS MODE WORKS
Focus Mode operates in two features: My Focus and Our Focus. By assisting users at any point of their dating experience, they are reassured that intentionality and communication are valuable while challenging themselves to put in the effort to build their relationships.
When people are dating, they are often only communicating the best or most desirable parts of themselves; however, when commitment ensues, everything is on the table. This stark change inevitably has an effect on the relationship.
This feature allows the user to recognize and reflect on their dating habits with various matches. By better understanding how they date and communicate, users are taking the next steps to define what their wants and needs are in a committed relationship.
You can initiate Focus Mode by navigating to your “Matches” section.
Through the use of geolocation, Hinge will send a notification following an in-person date with a "focused" match. Users will take the time to contemplate their date with a guided reflection that adjusts according to their responses while giving them the opportunity to consider their own dating habits.
After completing their reflection, tips are curated to assist the user as they move forward in their dating experience. At this time, they will also decide whether they would hangout with their match again.
Personal reflections are stored on the user’s account page and gives them the opportunity to observe dating patterns.
This feature actively deepens the connection between two users after they have decided to exclusively commit to one another. Users will choose to enter this phase by linking their Hinge accounts and sharing a space that stores their shared reflections from time spent together and suggested activities from those reflections.
When users mutually enter Focus Mode through their settings, further matching is disabled on their linked account and the Hinge app icon also transitions to the Focus Mode icon.
Their shared profile houses their personal reflections and focus activities, as well as communication tips about each person.
Users will be prompted through geo-location after a hangout to personally reflect on their shared time together. Their personal reflections will not be revealed to their partner.
If a negative reflection is detected, Hinge will notify the partner who has submitted it and offer them options to facilitate communication.
Two options — a collaborative focus activity or tips to best approach their partner based on the love language of both partners are offered. By offering two options, Hinge acknowledges the spectrum of comfort in a relationship and allows users to select and progressively evolve their communication.
WHO THIS SERVES
We already knew that dating is hard.
To pinpoint the issues that make it so difficult, we collected research and crafted several user personas to take them on their own dating journey specifically after they have chosen to commit.
This user journey clarified the pain points of the dating experience which mainly centered around
cultural differences, social behaviors and miscommunication.
These areas became our points of attack when deciding how a dating app would show up and relate to users. It became clear that the need of a constant check-in and safe space for reflection would best foster communication in the dating experience — leading to Focus for Hinge.