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2022

Bumble Group

Purpose

Bumble wants to evaluate their current approach and determine ways to refine and add features to make the friendship search more effective.

Role

Design & Interaction Lead | Research Support

Timeline

2 Week Sprint | Nov 2022 - Dec 2022

Tools

Figma | Canva | Xtensio | Otter.Ai | Google Suite | Zoom | Slack

Project Overview

PROBLEM

Bumble is a the second most downloaded dating app in North America, and unlike many of its top competitors, it offers a service to find friends using its BFF mode, which already has 3 million registered users as of 2022. The dating app continues to grow exponentially, but the BFF service is missing one of the most important ways people form and maintain friendships, community.

Bumble BFF is essentially a clone of their dating format that focuses on finding and engaging with one individual at a time. Users can only search for friends of the same gender, and must make a binary decision on whether to pursue friendship with them.

 

Bumble wants to leverage its users to determine ways to refine or add features to make the friendship search more effective and appealing

SOLUTION

A community feature that enables users to quickly and confidently expand their social circles while doing fun activities.

Match with a group -
  • Find & join groups based on your interests
  • Explore various types of groups based on your location
Meet members of your group in person
  • Create or attend existing in-person events hosted by members of the group
Engage and interact with group members within the app
  • Like & comment on group members' posts or create your own
  • Host in-app activities for members of the group to join in
INITIAL ASSUMPTION

By considering my own personal experience with Bumble's BFF service, I thought that most Bumble users, like myself, who are a bit more shy in group environments would rather go through a process of finding friends in a more individualistic way such as this app.

I thought that a simple solution would be to add an in-app feature, such as personality quizzes, and games that would reflect different interests and topics to better match individuals and provide a topic of conversation between matches.

As I continued my user research, I realized my assumptions were wrong and that the app has the potential to do more than just match two individuals in hopes of forming a friendship.

Design Process

Research

TEAM WORK

In collaboration with the Research Lead and Planning Lead, we began mind mapping our familiarity and knowledge on the concept of friendship and considered aspects such as:

  • How would we define friendship
     
  • What are the social norms when it comes to forming friendships?
     
  • What are some mental and physical obstacles that get in the way of pursuing friendships?
USER INTERVIEWS

We sought to validate problem points from the client along with what we explored during our mind mapping session and understand exactly why a solution was needed.We conducted user interviews with 10 participants to learn more about how different people define and form a meaningful friendship.

MOMENT OF CLARITY

After conducting our user research, I quickly realized that my initial assumption of an individual's comfort when it comes to meeting acquaintances was inaccurate.Our user interviews have shown us that a large number of people actually feel more comfortable meeting new acquaintances in group settings as opposed to 1 on 1. Besides adding an in-app feature for games and activities, why not give users the affordances to organize activities outside of the app?

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

We conducted a competitive analysis on 5 different services with similar offerings to Bumble's BFF feature:

HEY! VINA

YUBO

MEETUP

LMK

FRIENDER

A trend we saw from these other services was a way of engaging with multiple people all at once through group events such as live streams, audio/video calls, or organized in-person activities.

We realized that, not only could we offer those types of features on Bumble, but we could take it a step further and evolve the app into a social networking community.

Our competitors had great features that offered multiple ways for users to interact online, but an opportunity many of them were missing was a way to encourage users to stay active on the app after the event or meetup they commit to.

After coming to this realization, we continued on with a comparative analysis to learn more about how users can interact with each other on and offline.

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

We discovered 5 comparators, each with their own unique way of either connecting individuals based on common interests or providing users with a sense of community through organized activities:

TINDER

HINGE

PEANUT

PLENTY OF FISH

FACEBOOK

Tinder, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish heavily rely on a user's profile, which includes an individual's basic background, interests, and geographical location to match their users

Facebook and Peanut allow users to connect within groups that are created by their members based on interests, activities, lifestyles, and more. Within many of these groups, members organize meetups in-person.

Synthesize

PERSONAS

Our team used the data we synthesized from the user research to create two user personas including a primary persona to better visualize and understand the frustrations of our users.

Our primary persona, Jamie Anderson, is who we regularly referred to throughout the product development and design process. She was recently moved to Seattle, Washington after landing a new job at Amazon. She wants to make some new friends to explore the area and do fun activities with. One thing that concerns her is having to go through that awkward 1 on 1, first friend-date with strangers.

Our secondary persona, Andrew Daly, is a Brooklyn local who tends to keep a small and intimate social circle mainly composed of family members. Due to his social anxiety, he wants to feel comfortable making a new friend who shares the same interests. One thing that concerns him is that he feels too shy around strangers to muster up the courage of hanging out with new people.

PROBLEM

We summarized a clear and concise statement to understand and align the team on what we needed to solve for:

Jamie wants to quickly and conveniently expand her social circle by

 

connecting with people who share common interests because she

 

wants to feel confident developing friendship while doing fun

 

activities.

Using the pain points we gathered from our research, we asked ourselves

  • How might we facilitate introducing users to new friends in a safe and comfortable group environment?
​​
  • How might we make Bumble BFF feel more like a community?
​​
  • How might we make planning for a meet up simple?

After brainstorming possible solutions to these questions, we decided to develop features within Bumble BFF such as allowing users to match and join groups based on common interests, allowing users to create or attend group events, and helping members stay active within the app by creating posts to share their experiences with fellow group members.

Ideate

SKETCH
Wireframe 1.6
Wireframe 1.5
Wireframe Sketch
Wireframe Sketch 1.4
Wireframe Sketch 1.3
Wireframe Sketch 1.2

As soon as our team reviewed and finalized the user flow, we moved straight into a design studio to visualize how we wanted to design this feature from scratch.

Our sketches informed us of what pages and features were needed and what additional UI elements to create in order to guide our users to the new feature.

These UI elements included:

  • An simple way switch to the group mode within the BFF feature.
  • An icon to represent Bumble Community in the main navigation menu item.
​​
  • A local navigation within the Community page for users to easily access the new features.​​
  • A page dedicated to exploring all different types of groups that users may not come across depending on their set interests.
STYLE GUIDE

We wanted to make sure that we stayed consistent with the current app's design pattern. Because Bumble's style guide is currently not available to the public, I dedicated buffer time to recreate the style and UI elements directly from the app in order for the prototype to look as similar as possible.

WIREFRAMES / WIREFLOW

The design studio was extremely helpful in understanding the team's overall perspective on how the new feature should look, as we combined several elements from each of our sketches and moved into wire-framing.

Due to the time constraints of this design sprint, I created high fidelity wireframes on Figma to quickly visualize the new features. Our sketches inspired the design of:

  • The timeline, where users can share and interact with each others' posts
  • The local navigation as tabs, allowing users to easily move through features in just one tap
  • The content layout for each page

Testing & Improvements

5 Participants | 4 Tasks | 3 Metrics | 2 Days | 1 Goal

MODERATED USABILITY TEST

In each session I led, with the support of our research lead, participants were expected to complete four tasks to help us determine how easily and efficiently users are able to join a nearby Bumble BFF group and RSVP to the group's upcoming event.

RESULTS

Our team reiterated our designs and made several changes to reflect the feedback and observations from users' behaviors:

FINAL PROTOTYPE DEMO
REFLECTION

Not only did I enjoy researching and designing for this project, I am extremely pleased that this speculative piece consisted of a team of 3 UX fellows. I wanted to experience working on a project within a team to really understand the challenges of collaborating with other designers and roles. Initially, there was an obstacle of getting team members aligned with project goals and expectations. We quickly worked through that issue by communicating as often as possible to get familiar with how each member worked, processed information, and ideated individually.

Something that I would do differently, is being more involved in the research process. Although I supported the team's Research Lead by taking on a small portion of the user interviews, to get a sense of potential user needs, I would have liked being more involved in conducting the task analysis on our competitors and comparators of our application. If I had directly gone through the steps to complete the given tasks, I would have had a clearer understanding of the user pain points to better improve the experience on our app.

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