On a community site for devs I joined recently, a new member asked where to start with making a dating app for their school. I gave the following advice.
Start with getting them signed up. How does that work?
How do they build their profile? What goes in it?
What data from their profile is used to match them with others?
What’s your matching algorithm for that data?
What data about their matches do you show them?
How do they connect with the matches that interest them?
Whether it’s match.com from 1999 or the latest dating app from 2019, those questions apply universally.
And once you have those answers, the architecture of your app and the back-end services to power it should become more apparent.
Any app starts with the experience. What is a customer’s journey like through your app?
Start with the customer’s first encounter with your app. Write out the steps in terms of what the customer sees, what clues them into what to do next, and how they get to the end of a single task… like signing up. Don’t go off on tangents about all the possible side trips they might take. Just map a simple and easy journey from start to finish. Then map a few more, enough to cover a simple beta.
Don’t get stuck designing a customer experience that fits the tech you built. Design your tech to power the customer experience you want. Start with the experience, and the tech will reveal itself.