For my final Design Principals project of 2016 I set out to answer the question “Why is it hard for gay men to find love?” posed by psychologist Lemarc Thomas in Attitude Magazine. He goes on to say…
“Spending too much time with our heads down checking messages and apps inhibits social interaction. Anxious people are more likely to have their heads down on their phones when on their own in a bar, while confident people are more comfortable standing strong on their own. Put your phone away – notice your surroundings and acknowledge the people around you.”
Grindr Boost came from my belief that online dating/hookup apps have created a divide between the relationships we have on our phones and the relationships we have in the real world. I don’t feel that this is a problem specific to just gay people, but I have experience with Grindr and I decided to take the opportunity to redesign it. My mission was to use augmented reality to bring the gay hookup app Grindr into the real world in the hopes that the platform can be used to make more meaningful connections.
Introducing Grindr to Augmented Reality:
Augmented reality is “a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.” – Grindr Boost would allow users to use their phone’s camera and bluetooth technology to view the profile of other men in their immediate surroundings.
Making Grindr More Approachable:
Grindr has a reputation for being an unsavory app meant exclusively for hookups. I feel that with the addition of Grindr Boost and the right redesign this platform could become a safer and more inviting place for all.
I started by redesigning the Grindr home screen based off of the work that I had already done for Grindr Boost. Then I updated the profiles screen with an emphasis on transparency and the use of profile pictures.
By making these initial connections happen off screen rather than on, Grindr users would find themselves in a more realistic dating environment, one where meaningful connections could be made and relationships could be built.