UX Study: Tinder – All The Bad UX and A Broken User Base

Last year I wanted an experience using the app. It seemed it would be an interesting journey too after a break up. 

For an in depth ‘research’, stupidly I paid for Tinder Plus, for a full price. Because you know, there are so many limitations with the free version. To make it clear, it is subscription based. So, I paid for a month only. 

After using it for a month or two, I finally deleted the account. At that time, thinking it seemed enough for me. I saw many flaws in terms of its UX. It’s like the app really wants to direct you to any possible way to get the money. Milking its users’ money at its best. 

Some months ago, I recreated a new account. (Like they said, damn, adulthood is lonely).  This time I really wanted to experience the app so I can write on this. So, here is the blog post.

Fortunately, this time I got a promotion for half price. Took it too this time. Anyway, this was still expensive even though it was not a full price like the first time.

The Users

100+ matches of ghosting

This is not Tinder’s fault, or at least not entirely. The user base generally just doesn’t know what they really want. Do you know the cycle like: match, chat, ghosting? That’s going to be your common experience here.

Yes… I love trees!
Why don’t we make Tinder for food
You’re beautiful but I don’t know..

Other than that, there’s no such standard for profile pictures. Like who the heck are you? You are putting trees as your profile picture. Or fancy dishes like most women in Japan (outside of Tokyo)? Maybe.. you’re more interested in someone’s only left side of her face?

It would be better if Tinder somehow created a computer vision AI on their side of the server. The AI will then analyse the profile pictures users added. As far as I’m using Bumble, they have this kind of technology. Or at least put someone to check some of them manually. We really don’t appreciate profiles with no proper photo, right?

Money First, User Experience Later

Remember I subscribed for the gold plan? Unfortunately it doesn’t stop here. Tinder wants to suck more of your hard earned money. They will offer you platinum, boost, and so on and so forth. I’ll explain one by one.

Platinum for life
There you go the upgrade

If you think you get everything you after subscribed to the gold plan, congratulations! You are wrong. The fact that there is more of a ‘premium plan’ in the form of Tinder Platinum, I think it is hurting users. Besides, they promote it right in front of you, other than the more subtle section in the profile screen. 

Boost me up, will you?

For the boost, the Gold Plan gives us one time boost for a month. I think this is enough because we don’t really need as much boost as a regular condition. But the thing is Tinder seems persistent to make us buy more of it. Maybe you want it more, or not. So, putting it right after the boost has been out is not a best practice from a user perspective. Anyway, boost is a feature that makes your profile stand out more in the crowd. 

Moreover if you think you are enough with the ‘regular’ boost, congratulations! Again you are wrong. Tinder has another level of boost, Super Boost. You don’t believe me? Then don’t. Just believe the screenshot. 

Pay me to check for you

The Read Receipt is always there in any chat. Seems waiting for us to tap on it. And we really do that. The best part is this feature is not for every chat. You spend one Read Receipt for one conversation. 

Do you have 100 matches? And do you want to have a Read Receipt for each one? Then you have to spend 100 times for each of the chats. 

Increase a chance of ghosting

We get free Super Like 1 a day. That’s good right? And with the Gold Plan, we get free Super Likes 5 a day. Still good right? Not quite my friend. They will sell you some kind of add-on when using Super Like, to send a message. The claim is to increase a chance of getting a match by up to 25%.

Are people that desperate to increase the chance of getting matches? This kind of add-on is actually a feature that is part of the Platinum Plan. The more expensive ones other than the Gold.

Tinder: “You want the special offer”
Notify me with this
Notify me with that
Oi! Come back to get your Gold!

From time to time, Tinder will offer you anything that they want to offer. Whether the limited time ones or something that they are just persistent to do. Especially at the early time of using the app.. You know, anything to keep the money flowing.

Top ghosters?

Other than many promotions that are more plain. Of course they have a more subtle way. Like in Top Picks, you can only pick one and a limited number of options if not in Gold Plan. So, while you pick the second one or scroll more, you will be prompted to buy another pick!

I have 99+ potential ghosting

Then we have another feature for people who have already swiped right. This too will prompt you when scrolling more, or try to open the profile and tap the ‘SEE WHO LIKES YOU’ button.

Aw.. How sweet you are

Swipe left, then right, then left, and somehow you are caught in the Secret Admirer pop up. This is interesting though. You are presented with four cards. Then you get to choose one out of four. If it was the right card, you have an option to match or not. But whether it was the right card or not, you will be offered to upgrade to Gold Plan. Thank you very much!

After Gold, they will offer you Platinum, Boost, and so on and so forth. Let’s sum it up.  Capitalism at its best. 

Technical Issues

Have you ever felt annoyed by a slow connection? I believe it is an unpleasant experience. What if instead of a disturbance from the connection, it’s the application itself that has the issue? Here we have constant slow connections while swiping. Specifically loading the profile photos. For me personally, it happens at 4 p.m. and sometimes around 6 p.m.

Connection issues are one thing. But there is a constant random restart. For me, about 5 times in the last year. Something that’s not happening for any other apps. Anyway, the restart happened whether the app was in foreground or in background. 

The last issue happened is constant relogin. Well, sometimes it also happens with other apps. And it’s okay. But with Tinder, we are presented with flows like the first time after registration. You know, tutorials for using the app. The pain doesn’t stop there. The annoying promotions also come back. Here we go ads!

Constant relogin with condition like the first time installed: tutorial, etc. And promotions!

Let’s Wrap It Up

Well, to put it simply, dating apps are not working. Affected by both users and the apps. Most users just want to play around and not put enough effort to start a connection let alone maintain it. From the apps perspective, they just want your cash. Most likely your data too. It’s like today’s currency. Hey, it’s business baby!

Not just Tinder, I did a ‘brief research’ on Bumble too. From the surface they seem different, like women make the move first, more detailed profile and filter, and so on and so forth. But the problems are still the same as the previous paragraph.

This is a good video that may or may not explain why dating app would not work (or just plain broken):

Anyway, how can they (any apps) still survive with all the bad things? Is it our constant search for someone? Or is it the flow of the money? 

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