M_Kirk_Rodgers--User Experience Researcher

Tinder FTUX analysis

I recently bought a new phone, and this came along with the re-installation of many apps., triggering the first time user experience (FTUX) for many of them.  In the next few weeks I'll be doing microposts looking at the FTUX of some of these apps discussing what they do right and what they do wrong.  Let's start with Tinder.


After a (short) on-boarding experience that primarily is meant to connect your facebook profile to Tinder, you're faced with the above view.  No instructions, no explanations, nothing except good affordances.  Three inviting buttons anchor the bottom of the page, providing even neophytes to swiping attractive targets for interacting with the app.  In addition to that, the user card is clearly the focus of the page.  If you try to interact with the user card by tapping it, it takes you into the more information screen, which is appears to be strictly optional from Tinder's perspective. Stacked cards that suggest a stack of papers to be sorted through invite those familiar with swiping to give it a try.  When they do, they get the following results:


Sliding the card one way or another gives immediate feedback about the results of the user's actions with short, clear labels.  You can also slide it back and forth before committing and "Like" and "Nope will fade in and out appropriately.

When you let go, it commits the choice and this popover appears:


While the other feedback is omnipresent in the app, this particular pop-up is designed to make sure that users don't take an irreversible action unintentionally, provides context for what the action does, and provides a chance to undo it.  This happens the first time you swipe left, swipe right, tap on the heart, and tap on the X for each install.

Tinder does a lot right here:

  • Light-weight FTUX doesn't get in the way of the user starting to use the app immediately.
  • The visual design of the app provides clear affordances to help the user understand what actions are possible.
  • In-progress feedback for user actions help users understand what they can do without being forced to commit to an action.
  • Popovers explain the function and consequences action the first time they perform it.  They also give users a one-time escape hatch in case they didn't understand these consequences.

There are a few things that I think could use improving:

  • Moments are entirely unexplained in the context of the app.  As they are outside of the core loops of swiping and chatting, this is forgivable.
  • The onboarding slideshow includes some tutorial information, but I would wager a large percentage of users skip that, and it's never accessible again.
  • In case someone does not know what to do at all (unlikely, but possible) they should consider adding a swipe gesture or put a glowing circle on the heart after a short amount of time.

All in all, Tinder does a good job of keeping their FTUX lean and effective.