UX Research Case Study: Tinder App

A study on increasing the desire of non-premium users to subscribe to a premium plan

Photo by Good Faces Agency on Unsplash

Introduction

Hi everyone, I am Ana Fitriyani or you can call me Fitri. This August, I started to join the UI/UX Design Bootcamp held by dibimbing.id. The first project I worked on with my teammates (Nazwa Fajrani and M. Sandi Aulia Gani) at this Bootcamp was about user experience in using the Tinder app that would be used as my first portfolio.

About Tinder

Tinder is a global online dating platform and is available in 190+ countries and 40+ languages. This is an online dating and geosocial networking application which allows the user to meet new people, expand the social network, or meet locals when traveling. The main features of Tinder are swiping a user’s profile (left or right) and chatting between two “matched” users. (Wikipedia & Tinder, 2022)

My Role

UX Researcher

Scope

User research, analyzing

Timeline

The research process for approximately 4 weeks

Tools

Google Form, Zoom, Google Meet, Whatsapp, Google Sheets, & Slides

Project Type

Personal Portfolio

Research Background

Approximately only 10.7 million Tinder users have subscribed from a total of 75 million active users in 2022. In Indonesia, in 2021, 57.6% of respondents use the dating app Tinder to find their partner. -Katadata

Research Objective & Hypothesis

The research objective of this research is how to increase the desire of non-premium users to become premium plan subscribers, with several hypotheses as follows:

  1. Users use Tinder to find partners or friends, to be able to enjoy unlimited likes & rewind features, get access to any location, and free from ads
  2. Users are more comfortable communicating virtually, they don’t have time to find new friends/partners in person
  3. The application is more secure with the profile verification system
  4. Adding features needed, such as features that show premium users

Research Plan

Conduct Research

Research Methodologies

1. Survey

Filtering Tinder users, who have or have never subscribed to premium, and proceed to in-depth interviews. Surveys using Google Form, whilst Google Sheets & Slides are used to collect and compile interview data

2. In-depth Interview

To find out more about the motivation, preferences, and behavior of users of the Tinder premium plan, crime opportunities, and understand user satisfaction levels, as well as to validate hypotheses (Google Meet, Zoom, and Whatsapp are used to conduct the interview)

3. Company data

User track record while being an application user

Respondent Target & Criteria

Target: Tinder users, who have or have never subscribed to a premium plan

Criteria:

  • Demographic: worker, aged 21+ (already have income), single
  • Behavior: active users of the app in the last 1 month
  • Psychographic: looking for a partner vs. looking for friends
Number of Participants: 6 (3 of segment 1, 3 of segment 2)

Quantitative data needed is 385 user’s data (if possible) (checked from Sample Size Calculator on qualtrics.com)

Based on the survey results, none of the respondents used the Premium Plan and the user segmentation was only 5 non-premium users (according to the willingness of respondents to be interviewed).

Primary Research

Recruiting Respondents & User Survey

The recruitment process was carried out by distributing questionnaire links through social media to screen active Tinder users and to find out user behavior, obstacles faced when using the application, and the willingness of users to be interviewed. Tinder-using friends and colleagues were asked during this research stage and finally, 23 people were collected who filled out the questionnaire.

Key Insights from The Survey

  1. A total of 52.2% (12 people) of respondents chose to use the Tinder application because it has more users, and 43.5% (10 people) chose Tinder because it has an attractive UI design and is easy to use
  2. 60.9% of respondents use the Tinder application to find a partner
  3. 81.8% of respondents (9 people) feel that Tinder gives a ‘fake happiness’ experience
  4. Of the 23 respondents, none of them have ever used the Premium Plan
  5. Aspects that need to be improved include those related to security, account verification, chat features, and filtering users by category

For more details, you can check the entire questionnaire result through this link.

Qualitative Research

In-depth interviews with Tinder users were conducted to find out their behavior, likes, pain points, and needs/expectations in using the Tinder application. Five individuals from the survey process were selected, three women and two men.

Main Findings

Affinity Diagram Analysis

Theme: Behavior

  • Based on the interviews, respondents stated that they use the Tinder application every night, once a month, and three times a month
  • Respondents use Tinder in different situations, including when they are bored, when they really want to find a partner, and in their spare time when they need friends to hang out
  • The motivation of users on the Tinder application is to find a partner, make as many new friends as possible, and network. Users who don’t have a partner use Tinder to find a partner, while those who already have a partner tend to use Tinder to find friends

Main activities for Tinder users include: swiping right or left (like or dislike) and chat

Affinity Diagram Analysis

Theme: Likes

  • There are no obstacles encountered in the swipe feature
  • On Tinder, we could enable/disable our location tracking, so users feel more secure. Because if location tracking could not be disabled/ turn off, the user feels stalked and it is violating their privacy
  • Users find it exciting because they can meet new friends who are unexpectedly compatible and have the same interests

Affinity Diagram Analysis

Theme: Pain Points

  1. Feature Aspect
  • There is no reply feature in chat so the chat experience feels less efficient, especially if users send a lot of chats and overlap each other
  • Could not send photos in chat, but can make video calls (making video calls with new people is uncomfortable and awkward)
  • There are no filter features, ex: height, religion, interests, etc
  • Tinder could not filter out real people or people with bad intentions
  • Could not undo the swipe

2. Economic Aspect

The premium plan price is expensive and not worth it, in terms of the available features

3. Technology Aspect

Chat often takes a long time to load and even crashes

4. Content Aspect

  • It’s uncomfortable to meet people who are too random
  • Bios and descriptions are not representative enough, so users don’t get an idea whether the people they meet are suitable or not
  • Annoying chatbots (online shop promotion)
  • Discomfort due to identity fraud could lead to crime
  • Discomfort due to sexual crime/ harassment

Affinity Diagram Analysis

Theme: Needs/ Expectations

  • Users need a profile verification system for security
  • Users need a sub-category/ filtering feature to find a more suitable partner/ friend
  • Users need the reply & send photo feature in chat, so they could have a better conversation
  • Users can use undo swipe, so they can return to the previous match

User Persona

Customer Journey Map

Way Forward

Recommendations

Based on affinity diagram analysis, user persona, and customer journey map, the recommendations proposed are:

Action Plan

Based on the table, the 2 recommendations in the green table are prioritized because they are closely related to desirability and viability, and benefit both parties (users and businesses).

  • from the user side: with improvements to the verification and filtering features, users will feel safe in using the application, Filters/sub-categories save users time in searching for the ideal partner
  • from the business side: with the improvement of the two features, it will attract a lot of premium plan subscribers because users feel it is worth it and generate higher profits for the company

Appendix

Survey about Tinder (Google Form)

Survey Result

Interview Transcript & Result

Early Research Plan (#5 Slide)

Conduct Research (#6 Slide)

Research Insight and Reporting (#9 Slide)

Things I’ve Learned

Through this project, I learn how to prepare questionnaire questions for respondents according to objectives, communicate with respondents to obtain the desired data without any bias, analyze the data obtained, synthesize and select important data to be presented, and make recommendations and actionable plans based on the insights obtained, make research reports and also portfolio.

Thank you for reading, any comment is appreciated and will be used for future learning, and kindly give a clap if you find this writing interesting (ps: you can give up to 50 claps by holding the clap button for a few seconds).

Thank you!

Find me on LinkedIn

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Experienced Program Officer in Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a passion for Urbanism, Community Development, and User Experience (UX) Design

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Ana Fitriyani

Experienced Program Officer in Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a passion for Urbanism, Community Development, and User Experience (UX) Design