When Vanity Fair decried Hinge for “swiping romance from the screen,” Hinge began a rigorous interrogation of the value of swiping to Hinge’s users and its impact on their lives. Longtime Mixpanel partners, the Hinge team turned to their data to redesign their product. Tim MacGougan, VP of Product at Hinge, joined the product team right as Hinge’s leadership decided they needed to detoxify dating app culture and restructure Hinge so it led to more relationships.
Why Hinge Turns to Mixpanel
Everything Hinge does is measurable. All the features they release have metrics they expect them to impact. Using Mixpanel, they choose the problems they want to solve and the impact they want the resolution to accomplish.By harnessing empathy through qualitative measurements and user behavior insights with Mixpanel, Tim and the team helped transform how relationships are formed online. In the process, Hinge helped more people connect with others, and ultimately accomplish the good type of churn they like to see–which is finding love on the app.
“All this was aimed at solving the signal and noise problem—we wanted people to focus on their matches and not the next person.” - Tim MacGougan, VP of Product, Hinge
User Experience Improvements with Mixpanel
Driving Users to Make More Connections
The data revealed people were procrastinating on connecting with their incoming likes because all likes were displayed in one list. Consequently, the common user behavior was to browse, pick a few connections, and forget the rest. After this discovery, the team switched to an interface that only displayed one incoming like at a time, making users more likely to go on dates.
Letting Users Know the Ball is in Their Court
After users both liked each other, sometimes a stalemate would ensue. “Let’s say I like your photo and you choose to connect with me. Now whose turn is it to start the chat?” asked Tim. “People didn’t always know, so we gave them a nudge with a feature called Your Turn which placed a badge on the initiator’s profile that indicates whose turn it is to start the chat.” Your Turn reduced conversation stalemates by 13 percent.
Using Quantitative & Qualitative Data
All the while, Hinge keeps a pulse on what users say. “If we launch a new feature, I’ll always check in with the customer service team. I’ll ask them to tell us about any negative sentiment. The good result is that you hear nothing. But user analytics helps us monitor the whole ecosystem so we get both views.”
The team at Hinge is currently building features to help learn from users offline so they can go deeper and test more theories. They will continue to focus as much on their process as they do on the product itself. Always learning and evolving how they work is the heart and soul of what’s made their product successful.