1. Confusing buttons
Tinder’s swipe screen appears with a list of 5 buttons at the bottom: let’s call it yellow, red, blue, green, purple button.
Okay, we might all know the red X is Nope, and the green heart is Like. But how about the yellow arrow, the blue star and the purple lightning? To be honest, I have never tried those buttons until writing this article because I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know if it will charge me anything, or do something weird to other users on Tinder.
My friend once tried tapping the blue star button for the first time. It then SUPER LIKE one of the girls on Tinder. That fcking freaked him out.
End users have a lot of fears, and one of those is not knowing what will happen. I came to this realization after reading Real Big Words’s article. There is an example of Airbnb’s app: “You won’t be charged yet” have answered the concern of most users when it comes to monetary transactions. This help users to continue their journey without fear.
Talking not only about monetary transactions, I personally think every UX features should be this transparent to make the most of their usability.
2. Navigation Bar
A part from 5 buttons at the bottom, Tinder appears to have navigation bar at the top of the screen. This causes me some problems with reachability as a right-handed phone user (most of the time).
This is an illustration of reachability of one-handed users when interacting with their phones: green is the comfortable-to-reach area, yellow indicates an area that requires a stretch and red indicates area that is unreachable (or in other way, users have to switch the way in which they are holding their devices).
It’s essential to place important and frequently-used actions at the bottom of the screen, because they are comfortably reached with one-handed or one-thumb interactions.
Therefore, with the size of phones being bigger and bigger, putting Navigation Bar at the top will be a pain point in user journey. Of course we can swipe left/right to change to other part of the navigation bar, but obviously it does not work when you are using Tinder. You know why.
However, Tinder would rather put 5 (confusing) buttons instead of the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. I might think, as a business, Tinder may has chosen to sacrifice user experience for their revenue by doing this. Here’s the reason.
As Tinder has hand gestures to indicate Nope, Like and Super Like, 3 of those buttons in the center are redundant (the red X, blue star and the green heart). The rest? To monetize their business.
Hence, to satisfy both business goals and user goals, I may make some changes. Something like this:
I moved the navigation bar to the bottom, while moving two of the buttons up to thumb level. 3 of the buttons (Nope, Like, Super Like) have been removed as they are redundant. Moreover, they might be unsettling for users when there are too many choices there.
I designed the buttons’ color to stand out from the background and add a bit of shadow. In this way, the buttons will be more eye-catching than they were in the current version of Tinder (with white background and white buttons). So the conversion rate of these buttons may increase.
3. The “Save” feature at Profile Editing
The Profile part appears quite simple with just two sections: Settings and Edit Info.
This part confused me with the saving feature. After editing profile or changing settings, I swiped down to look for the “Save” button. But guess what, there is no button.
How can I save my work? Am I supposed to back to main screen and the information will be automatically saved? Or am I supposed to tap on something else to save? In my first time using Tinder, I even have copied my bio before starting to examine how can it be saved, because I was afraid to lose all of them.
At least Tinder gives me a feedback that my changes are being saved by appearing the loading screen every time I exit to the main screen (but this only apply to the Edit Info, not the Settings part. I don’t know why).
But personally, I think automatically saved is not a safe choice for every users as it cannot serve every user scenarios. What is more, a “Save” button at the bottom does not cost anything.
4. Users’ bio
There are some good things about Tinder’s UX, including viewing users’ bio. I just have to tab their name when swiping. Easy.
However, after viewing their bio, I expect to be able to swipe left/right right in their bio section, but I just can’t. What I have to do is to tap “Back”, then swipe. I mean, it would be nice if I am not required to go one more step to “Like” or “Nope”.
You may say that I can use 3 buttons at the bottom of the screen. But eh… I am used to the hand gestures, so the possibility for me to notice and use those buttons can be the down to less than 10%. As I have said above, those buttons are redundant as we have hand gestures to Like, Nope or Super Like.
So Tinder, how about putting away those buttons and swipe?
5. My most annoying part
Personally, this is the most annoying part to me (though I don’t know how to name it). So this is the screen of my match’s bio.
Sometimes I feel like I want to see the pictures in full screen. So I try to swipe down. Then I see the screen moving, but nothing next. Hmm okay, maybe I can view the pictures in full screen this way, but somehow I did not swipe down “deep” enough. I may try again. I tried a thousand times more but nothing happens.
Okay, maybe that’s not the way it works. Then I noticed there is a red down arrow button. “Oh, this is definitely the way”, I thought. But guess what, tapping that button lead me back to my previous screen. Huhh??
So the whole process looks like this:
I ended the process with confusion and without getting my desired task done. What is the feedback after swiping down for when nothing’s gonna happen? Why the down button in the middle of my screen is used to back to the previous screen? And why am I not allowed to see the pictures in full screen after we being matched?
I also have seen my friends struggling with these misleading features. The whole process is a pain in the ass, I might say.