Kama is a dating app that takes matches to the real world by generating dates based on user dating preferences. Skip the meaningless texts and go right to meeting up after matching!
May - October 2020
Today a lot of dating apps in the market focus on matching users and provide a texting platform. They do so in different ways, but their focus is on providing their users with introductions to each other. As such, those can be described as matching-apps. Their main fault is their matching-dating ratio, which stands on an average of 150:1. As such, people who look for in-person dates might find it hard to achieve those through dating apps.
It's easy to get confused and think that maybe the users don't want a lot of dates in the real world. Perhaps their use stems only from boredom or personal interest. But the data show otherwise:
I formulated precisely the problem that Kama came to solve according to the familiar pattern: who it is about, what they are trying to do, what is actually happening, why it is happening that way and what it makes them feel.
Young adults with little free time who are looking to make a romantic relationship try to optimize the time it takes them to find a partner through dating apps. They fail to do that and set up real-world dates because the apps only help to initiate texting conversations and not everyone manages to take it to the physical realm, which makes them feel fatigued and frustrated.
Kama is trying to reach a better matching-dating ratio by providing dates upon matches.
I started the research phase with surveys. The survey was conducted among 300 single American students. Here are some of the significant data that received:
Based on the surveys and interviews conducted with several potential users, I formulated two personas:
As mentioned, the main problem is the difficulty of turning the matches into dates. For the solution to solve this problem, I summarized the research into 4 main pain points that cause difficulty for the users:
Frustration by users who lack texting articulation skills, due to interactions on dating apps built entirely on texting skills.
Fear of rejection eliminates the chance that one of the individuals will take a step and offer to meet for a date.
Since swiping requires no commitment, matching without purpose is very common, leading to a low match-to-date conversion rate.
Difficulty determining specific place and time. In most cases it ends with: "let's get drinks some time".
At the ideate stage, the main focus was on the main screen. I put a lot of thought into the swiping mechanics, the display of potential profiles to match, the preview of the user's dates, and more.
After the general idea was formulated in the sketching, I moved on to the wireframes phase. At this point I concentrate only on the functionality and usability of the app when the goal is to create an intuitive experience with as few frictions as possible.
The design of the screens is derived directly from the company’s branding and since Kama didn’t have one, I was given the responsibility to create it. Kama’s story is very simple: creating real-life relationships easily and quickly, without all the noise that is usually around it.
So I chose two main colors: red and yellowish-orange. The red color symbolizes the fact that Kama does not try to be sophisticated, it concentrates on the simple thing — love. The yellowish-orange color and the arrow-shaped symbol gives a sense of fast pace. No nonsense, straight to the point.
The origin of the name Kama is in the Hindu god of human love, Kamadeva. According to the stories, he walks around with a bow and arrow like Cupid’s.
In this section, it is essential to explain what sets this app apart from any other dating app. The user understands that the emphasis is on dating, that he can get discounts and continue to use the app for additional dates.
Kama is all about setting the most accurate dates, so the registration process is not short and requires a lot of details. In order not to discourage the user, I’ve added an element of progress that pushes the user to create a perfect profile and fill in all the details. The prize for those who reach 100 percent is an option to increase the dating quota from 4 to 5.
This screen is the heart of the app. I put a lot of thought into finding the right pattern that would meet all the needs. At the top in the red rectangle are the Date Spots. The user is limited to 5 dates at a time to increase the importance of choosing the right date. The familiar swiping got a twist and instead of right and left, it is up and down. Dragging the profile up creates a feeling that you are putting moving it to the Date Spots. The profiles appear one by one but unlike other applications — in a horizontal carousel. This means that you don't have to decide if you approve or reject people and you can continue scrolling. This solves a big problem: once the user runs out of places on the Date Spots, he can no longer swipe profiles up. But what he can do is filtering - swipe down the profiles he didn’t like from the potential profiles list. Once a spot becomes available, the user will be able to swipe up profiles from the remaining once.
It'a a Date!
As soon as two people swipe each other up - a date has been set for them! The system automatically and wisely selects the place and time according to each user's preferences. We deliberately chose to use Date rather than Match to emphasize the added value of the app.
This screen shows the dates set for the user based on his matches. You can also chat with your dates through here, but it was vital for us not to make it a regular chat lobby but to give the date much more expression than the texting. Therefore there is no preview of the last message but only a small alert if there are unread messages, and the rest of the place is dedicated to details about the date.
You get to this screen by clicking on one of the dates on the My Dates screen. Here too we used the same principle of emphasizing dating at the expense of texting. The details of the date appear first in a big and clear way and only then can you slide up and start chatting. We allowed the user to make a Reschedule and Relocate to give a sense of customization.
The work on the app was fascinating. Although the dating app market is flooded with loads of apps that look the same, Kama brings something different to the table. It allows people to bridge the technological gap and test their connections in real life. Together with the guys from Kama, we carried out an end-to-end process - from understanding the users' real needs to implementing it in an attractive and thoughtful interface.