Tinder vs Hinge, who has the better UX design?

It goes without saying – a good User Experience (UX) is essential for having an application people will want to use and recommend to their friends. The easier it is to navigate, the more loyal your customers will be, and you’ll see an increase in revenue (either from more people regularly using the app or advertising revenue). Your business will benefit in other, more subtle ways, too – consider how much you’ll save in customer service when you need to deal with fewer enquiries on how to use the app. 

With that in mind, let’s look at two of the more popular applications out there from a UX perspective, Tinder and Hinge, particularly focusing on how they’ve used the designs of their respective apps to keep users engaged when they’re looking for a partner. 

How Tinder has approached UX design
The world’s most popular dating app, Tinder, is infamous for adding “swipe left or right” to the romance lexicon. It’s a simple concept, you scroll through photos and “swipe” left or right, depending on whether you find the person attractive or not. Those you like you can then begin interacting with (assuming they’re interested in return). 

The developers of the app went in with the philosophy of what all good apps should be developed under – simple, fun, and useful. In the dating app space, the Tinder team discovered a huge hurdle was the lengthy questionnaires and bios people were asked to input before getting started. So they got rid of it, focusing instead on getting users looking at potential matches as quickly as possible. 

They’ve also focused on the element people come to Tinder for –photos. While there are some necessary function buttons colourfully displayed on the screen (note: without text, and relying on icon association over the necessity to read), around 80% of what you see on screen when you use Tinder, is occupied with the pictures. 

With that being said, there are issues with the Tinder app UX. The navigation buttons are at the top of the screen, and (particularly for people using larger devices) this is out of comfortable, easy reach. While the icons on the bottom are designed to be descriptive without using text, and some of the icons will be instantly familiar (the heart icon for “like”, or the cross icon for “no go”, other icons are less obvious in meaning – a lightning bolt means what to most users? 

With time, those icons will be familiar at a glance, but really good UX aims to be clear right from the outset, for the most casual user. 

How Hinge uses UX design

After a rocky start, Hinge has become a real competitor to the likes of Tinder, and that’s entirely due to a UX re-design, which honed in on the motto they “aim to be deleted”. Where Tinder and other dating apps encourage people to remain on the platform out of sheer curiosity, Hinge’s goal is to pair you up with someone, and then stop being relevant. 

As such, the UX is built around providing just enough information to cycle through a lot of people, but get more than an immediate first impression from their profile. In addition to having to upload a minimum of six photos, a Hinge profile also requires the user to answer three questions about themselves, and fill in a few more details. It takes longer to get set up than Tinder, but it helps users find people who share interests with them. 

It’s also a smartly designed application from a business point of view, since Hinge relies on people signing up to the premium service in order to make money. To encourage signups, Hinge limits the number of people you can “like” each day, and if you reach that limit, there’s a CTA superimposed over the top of the next person you come across. The goal being to impose the fear of missing out – you can’t be sure if you’ll come across that person again the next time you use the app, so instead, you sign up for the premium service in order to continue liking profiles. 

Which dating app has the superior UX?

Visually, the remade UX adopts a number of best practices like rounded picture edges. The original application only used grey and blue colours, while the refresh makes use of purple, pink and other bright colours to be more visually engaging. There’s also the use of animation to give vibrancy to what would otherwise be a static experience. 

Both Hinge and Tinder are obviously well-designed apps, otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular, but Hinge enjoys one substantial benefit – it is far more focussed on its purpose. 

Consider this, Tinder, by nature, encourages you to spend as much time as possible on it. Swiping left and right, interacting with a large number of people in order to get to know better the people that, on a first impression, you find attractive. 

Even once you find some people to meet and date from the app, the gamified nature of it encourages you to keep coming back and using it. Tinder was designed to emulate the experience of social media, and social media is designed to take up as much of your time as possible. “Playing Tinder” is a popular phrase for a reason after all. 

Hinge, meanwhile, has focused its UX specifically on helping people find a romantic match. It’s slightly less convenient to use, particularly when it comes to setting up a profile. It’s also less fun and less gamified. But it’s much more effective at doing what the app promises, and as the app developers are more than happy to announce, they’re over the moon if people delete the app after finding a romantic partner. 

There’s a lesson in comparing Tinder and Hinge – the UX should not just be about the simplicity of use. It’s also critically important you have a hard think about what you want to achieve through the app, and how the UX can enhance that. Sometimes you may even need to do something less conventional to get there. 

The first step in any software project is nailing UX, learn how you can better reach your customers with a free workshop. Contact our Team and organise one today.