East Meet East for iOS

Redesigning the post-onboarding experience


In late 2019, East Meet East (EME) brought me in to "update the look and feel" as well as investgate some problems new users were having post-onboarding:

  1. Users were taking too long to figure out the app's architecture, resulting in high drop-off
  2. Low engagement with Smiles and Messaging features
  3. Users got upset and confused about unfamiliar payment structure

From this, and what I gathered from message boards and app store reviews, here's what I determined users needed more of post-onboarding:

1. Familiarity
New users were dropping off at a high rate. EME suspected, because the app's architecture wasn't obvious and possibly unfamiliar to new users. EME wanted to be closer to apps like Hinge and Tinder.

2. Guidance
Engagement with Smiles and Messaging, the core features for the dating app, was low. The initial screens were empty with no language letting them know what should or will be there.

3. Education
It was clear from the app reviews that male users were upset to find that they needed to pay to recieve a certain number of messages. This is in contrast to every other popular dating app out there.

What this all boiled down to was simply, transparency. EME is a less familiar dating app, with features that most people will not be privvy to. If users knew better what they were getting into, EME doesn't look like the "bad guy" becuase they'd have done a better job at setting the expectation upfront.

Outside of that, there were some UI misfires, particularly with the bottom navigation:

  • Iconography felt flimsy and lacked personality
  • Five items with their labels made things tight
  • Search, doesn't really tell the whole story

And there were some other smaller things I thought needed changing:

  • The pinkish accent color skewed feminine
  • "Live" at the top, from home screen on first use

Old screens on first load

Updated screens

Home screen

Revised, cleaner logo. It's more "red" as well, a color that doesn't fall flat like the current red EME color.

You'll notice I've removed "Live" from the home screen. On first use of the app, the user may not know what it is since it's not being used in other dating apps. Only after have they interacted with the Live screen, will this show up.

Refreshed iconography. The current "Search" icon doesn't tell the whole story. You're not really searching, you're finding your matches in a card-based format.

The icons are simpler and tell the whole story. For this reason, I've removed the label below them. Visually, they balance out the screen with the logo.

Smiles screen

When they visit Smiles, they'll get a small explanation of what it is and how to use it.

User won’t have any Smiles at the very beginning, so we’re using this opportunity to show them how it works.

The tone is light, friendly and informative.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Messages screen

Fig. 1: Guys aren't always aware that they have to pay for messages. Here, we allude to it without giving too much information.

Fig. 2: Then, if they choose, they'll get more info on how the pricing works. The pay-to-play pricing structure wasn't being disclosed in an obvious way. That led to people being unhappy when their expectation didn't match up with reality.