Dating app Hinge – that is, Hinge, the dating app which we’re told by Hinge itself is “designed to be deleted” – wants its users to use it less. This, we’ve been informed, is the rationale behind a brand new look being rolled out on smartphones across the globe as speak.
First ushered into being way back in 2012, it was in 2016 that Hinge really took off. Considering itself a “relationship-focused app,” design-wise, Hinge presented itself as a relatively serious and sober elder sibling of some of the brasher apps on the market, all crisp minimalism and muted colour palettes.
The new look – which landed yesterday, 9 April – sees them up the brightness, bolden the fonts, and add a new illustrative edge to the whole thing. “The new design carefully reflects Hinge’s unique approach to making an app that’s less addictive, rather than encouraging users to spend more time on it,” Hinge says.
So how does that work, then? Nathan Roth, the app’s chief marketing officer, puts it thus: “Everything we do at Hinge is focused on one thing: getting our members off the app and out on great dates. Building an app that’s designed to be deleted starts by deeply understanding our members and what they’re looking for. That’s why we constantly survey our members and hold focus groups in our office to ensure they’re having the best possible experience on our app.”
He goes on to tell It’s Nice That: “We measure our success by the number of dates we set up each week. Today, Hinge creates a date every four seconds, and three out of four first dates turn into second dates.” Which is a better hit rate than you seem to see on Dinner Date, admittedly.
Consciously ignoring the “game-like animations” used by rival services to keep in-app engagement high, Nathan says that when it comes to notifications, the new look Hinge has gone for includes a range of alerts that “appear subtly” before “fading into the background of your appearance,” in order to ensure that users can fully focus on what they get out of the app, and not the app itself.