Online dating was tricky enough for singles before the pandemic. And since March, dating apps have been experimenting with a variety of ways—from video chat features to virtual experiences to profile add-ons—to help members find romantic connections in an isolating and depressing year.
Hinge’s latest effort to help streamline the dating journey for members involves a new visual design and features to avoid those who won’t be compatible, and the often awkward small talk that comes with initial conversations.
Today, the Match Group-owned service globally released the refreshed app design along with the features, titled Standouts and Roses. Hinge CMO Nathan Roth said the additions build on the brand’s “Designed to be Deleted” mantra, introduced in 2019 to push users to find love and delete the app.
“With the launch of Standouts and Roses, we want you to quickly zero in on the person you’ll best connect with and start a conversation that leads to a date,” Roth said. “We also want to be a digital brand that feels analog, and this refreshed design reflects the real world where dates actually happen.”
Standouts and Roses is an extension of Hinge’s prompts feature, introduced in 2016 to help members fill out their profiles by answering questions that reveal more about their personalities.
For Standouts, members will see a new feed that prioritizes showing prompts from those who are most their type, with a focus on topics that will most likely spark a more engaging conversation. The feed refreshes daily to display new prompts curated for members based on their previous likes and comments they’ve sent to potential matches.
To show interest in someone in Standouts, members can now send a Rose in hopes of getting their attention faster. Roses will complement the existing “like” feature and, according to Roth, testing found they’re twice as likely to lead to an in-person or virtual date. While the brand will give out a free Rose to every member on Sundays, it will also invite members to purchase more within the app.
New visuals round out the app refresh anchored by hand-drawn illustrations of people, dogs and plants in a color palette of purple, green and warm red carrying through the drawings into conversation bubbles and text.
“Our new design moves Hinge to the background of singles’ dating journey,” Roth said. “It utilizes colors found in nature so that distractions are reduced and users focus on developing a connection face-to-face. Also, our new illustrations have a more human feel by showcasing hand-drawn people with imperfect features, representing the real people who make up our community.”
Roth said Hinge will measure the performance of these updates based on the number of dates that members are setting up within the app. Days after members connect, Hinge regularly follows up with them through its in-app We Met survey to ask if they went on a date and if their match was someone they’d like to see again.
“This behavioral data allows us to introduce you to the best people for you and highlight their stand out prompt answer,” Roth said.
Since the pandemic, Hinge has doubled down on analyzing member behavior to improve the user experience. In May, the brand launched Hinge Labs, an ongoing research program that uses machine learning to uncover app behaviors that lead to relationship success and conducts experiments to determine app features that have the most positive impact.