Chorus is a dating app that allows users to add friends as Matchmakers, enabling them to swipe on their behalf in order to create new matches. Chorus users can also participate in Dating Roulette, a feature that introduces participants through a 5 minute video conversation, encouraging human-centered accountability in online dating.
Emily J Smith - CEO & Founder Maya Bruck - Head of Design
Mar 2020- Present
I lead the design and production of Chorus's latest feature, Dating Roulette (May 2020). Dating Roulette is an in-app video chatting feature created in response to social demand during the COVID-19 crisis. I collaborated with Chorus's senior designer, Maya Bruck to deliver the user flow, visual branding, social media graphics and the final hi-fidelity production mockups.
Users on dating apps are finding it difficult to make new or deeper connections during the global COVID-19 crisis.
The inability to meet in person due to mandated social-distancing has made it more difficult for dating app users to have what they feel are authentic interactions and conversations with their online matches. This can exacerbate the feeling of isolation for many users who relied on dating apps, such as Chorus, in order to form new relationships prior to the pandemic.
Dating Roulette on Chorus provides an alternative to in-person dates, by enabling users to be introduced through a 5 minute video conversation with a randomized match that fits their set preferences.
With the introduction of Dating Roulette, Chorus users have the opportunity to engage in a 5 minute video conversation with their randomized dates, before being able to decide to Match or Pass on their full profile. This format of virtual dating allows users to safely and remotely experience genuine interactions, make immediate assessments about compatibility and remove common social barriers that can prevent matches from initiating contact, or getting to know one another beyond in-app messaging.
Ideation and Research
Founder Emily Smith began hosting live, facilitated Dating Roulettes—mini speed dating events, to accommodate for shifting user needs.
Prior to Dating Roulette's integration into the Chorus app, the feature began as a series of live virtual events in April, as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. Users would first enter a video chatroom with a host, along with other participants, as part of a group orientation. These users would then be placed in 15 minute chatrooms with a randomized date that met the preferences stated in their Chorus profiles.
With the introduction of video dating features on competing apps, Dating Roulette stands out as the only feature dedicated to removing biases and discrimination from the virtual dating experience.
Competitors such as Hinge, Tinder, Filter Off and The League are in the process of developing, or already offer a video dating option for their mobile apps. Some apps require that two users are matched before video chatting, making the process much the same as the traditional Match/Pass mechanism. Other apps will allow users to see the photo and name of another dater, before deciding to accept a video date.
Chorus's dedication to humanizing the online dating experience is demonstrated in its base functionality, and also through Dating Roulette. In a conscientious effort to eliminate common biases (ie: age, race, name), users do not have access to information regarding their dates prior to joining the video chatroom. The matches they receive are all within the range of their set account preferences, with an option to exit the date at all times for added security.
Designing the Experience
Integrating Dating Roulette as a Chorus app feature was a logical choice moving forward. By utilizing the existing repository of Chorus user data, a more convenient and streamlined process could be designed for Roulette participants.
1 of 2 - Bottom Navigation
Predicted to be a widely used feature alongside the existing dual Dater/Matchmaker mechanism, Dating Roulette was incorporated into the bottom navigation for ease of access and visibility.
2 of 2 - Chorus as Match Maker
In order to incorporate the Chorus brand into Dating Roulette, we designed the 'Chorus Roulette' entity to be the symbolic Matchmaker for all matches made through the Roulette feature.
Chorus users can view their current matches in one of two ways. They can go directly to their Matches screen to each individual match, or go to their Chorus screen. The Chorus screen displays messages between the user's Dater profile, and the Matchmakers they have added to their account. Each new successful match will be displayed in the chat between the user, and Matchmaker who made that particular match.
Flow & Features
I designed the high fidelity screens for each step of the user experience on Dating Roulette, incorporating feedback from users during our initial testing.
1 of 3 - Joining Dater Roulette
Orientation & Ground Rules
In order to introduce Dating Roulette to the general Chorus community, I designed a swipe through with three introductory screens describing the feature for first-time users.
We also added a Ground Rules screen to the onboarding; all users must agree to the ethics and standard for behavior on Dating Roulette prior to being allowed to join the Chorus video dating pool.
2 of 3 - Matching on Dating Roulette
Finding A Date
Once users have finished onboarding and agreed to the Ground Rules, they are taken to a 'Finding a Match' screen. Users can either stay on Chorus, or leave the app running in the background while the Chorus algorithm matches them to someone within their set preferences.
If the user does not have Chorus open on their screen, they are sent a push notification once a match has been found. Both matches have two minutes in total to 'Join' the date. Once both users have joined, they will be taken to a private 5 minute Zoom chatroom for their video date.
3 of 3 - Post Video Date
Matching Through Dating Roulette
Similarly to 'Finding a Date' on Roulette, users will receive a push notification to return to the Chorus app once their five minute date is finished.
Back on the Chorus app, users can finally see the full profile information of their dates, and decide whether or not to match. If both users have matched with each other, Chorus Roulette will be presented as their Matchmaker (see section in App Integration).
Website & Social Media
In addition to designing the Dating Roulette flow, I was assigned to update and create new assets for Chorus's website, social media and newsletter.
1 of 3 - Chorus Home Page
With support from my team, the website's main landing page was updated to give a more 'human focused' design based off stakeholder feedback. An informational link block for the new Dating Roulette feature was also added to the landing page.
2 of 3 - Dating Roulette Page
The Dating Roulette page is a completely new section of the website that was designed for the product feature launch. We made the narratives of real users the central focus through the addition of prominent hero images and user quotes.
The signature red of Dating Roulette, as well as illustrative elements were incorporated into the design to reinforce the branding established for the feature.
3 of 3 - Social Media Templates
During my time as a designer at Chorus, I created various text and product launch templates for Chorus's social media presence (i.e Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and email newsletter. A few examples of these templates are shown in the image below.
The user feedback for the initial Dating Roulette platform was overwhelmingly positive, validating the decision to integrate Dating Roulette as a Chorus app feature.
Many Chorus participants described the experience as an enjoyable alternative to in-person dating, as well as the traditional Match/Pass mechanism of the majority of dating apps. The number of RSVPs and attendees for the Roulette events correlated with a spike in growth for the amount of active users on Chorus.
the future of dating roulette
Thanks to a positive initial response from users, Chorus will continue to support Dating Roulette as feature on the app.
Our team will continue to monitor feedback for Dating Roulette, and perform further user testing in order to continue to improve the Chorus experience. One option for future development would be to streamline the Dating Roulette experience by hosting an internal video chatting platform.