Zoosk
4 days
Sept, 2013
People using Zoosk, complained about receiving a lot of low quality flirts like "Hey baby", while using the online dating platform. We proposed a system that introduces a context of communication so as to create more meaningful conversations.
BRIEF
Real life dating and catching someone's interest involves flirting. We are all familiar with flirting, the looks, silly jokes, compliments, etc. Online dating incorporates flirting too; people still need to catch each other's interest. The quality of online flirting tends to be much lower, while the quantity received is much higher. Through user testing, analytics, and tracking, we have found that online flirting is most successful when it is viewed as genuine and of a higher quality than simply saying "hi," "you're hot," etc. We are looking for novel new ways and interactions around flirting that will engage users.
SOLUTION
Our system is called moments. Moments is a way to share something relevant to your real life, so that people can relate and respond to it. An example of a moment would be - "Super relaxed right now. I just made a smoothie with fresh bananas and strawberries. Super delicious. What kind of smoothies do you make?". This creates a meaningful connection, based on what people are really interested in talking about. The conversation can obviously deviate towards anything else, however this "prompt" gives people a context to talk about something that is of value to both the sender and the receiver.
PROCESS
Team members : Deepak Bhagchandani & Yizhou Pan

Day 1 & Day 2 : Brainstorming, Sketching & Concept Generation We spent the first two days just discussing about the root cause of the reason behind people behaving in this way on online dating websites. We tried to analyze what would qualify as a genuine flirt as opposed to an impersonal flirt message like "hi baby". My partner and me, both reached to same conclusion that a genuine flirt has one or more of the following characteristics :

Personal
Original
Trustworthy
Meaningful
Related to personal interest

User Research
When we tested the Zoosk website ourselves and by interviewing other people on the site itself, we realized that mutual attraction was the key to making a flirt valuable. Going further, mutual attraction is greater when there are shared interests and an established common ground among strangers.
The prompt
While trying to generate concepts, one concept that we both agreed on was the concept of some sort of a "prompt" that helps users create meaningful conversation. A prompt allows people to respond to something instead of simply saying "hi baby". It also filters those people who respond to the prompt, from those people who simply send a quick flirt message. If someone takes the time to send a meaningful response to the prompt, that immediately creates a sense of connection and has the potential of leading to a better conversation.
Map
Another thing that we both immediately agreed on was the fact that there were simply too many users on the website for one person to interact with. We therefore came up with the idea of constraining the number of users that a person can interact with at a time, to five. This discourages the behaviour of messaging a lot of people at a time, but more importantly it also mimics real life social situations where you can't really talk to more than a few people who are around you.
Day 3 & Day 4 : User Interface, Prototype, Scenario & Slide Deck

After we decided on our final concept, we began working on fleshing out the details of the final user interface mockups.



We also created a quick prototype in Invision, to run a quick usability test among ourselves.

http://invis.io/MZI98VDN

We then worked on the putting together the slide deck for the final presentation.
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