A duo of ambitious entrepreneurs based out of Dana Point, CA approached ISBX to help build an activity-based dating site. The project arrived at ISBX in the form of hand drawn page layouts and notes, accumulated over a year of discussion and internal strategy sessions. ISBX was tasked with fleshing out the vision of its founders and turning these concepts into a beautifully designed and well-executed website and iPhone application. The duo had expressed that they had no previous software development experience or prior technical knowledge, and requested that ISBX guide them through each step of the process. Although the product was still in its early stages, with no defined logos, slogans, mission statement or even color scheme, the founders were clear in their vision, and ISBX used this single piece of clarity to carve out what would later be one of the fastest growing dating sites in the region.
ISBX's Account and Project Management teams devised a multi-pronged approach, addressing several design topics at once in order to capture the vision of its founders and begin formulating the foundation of the brand. ISBX spun up its Creative Design teams and began tackling three key topics:
- Logo Ideation and Design
- Style Sheet and Brand Guidelines
- Defining Overall Site Flow and Map
From there we were able to solidify the base elements that would ultimately help define the User Experience and allow us to begin moving through our Information Architecture process.
With the requirement to design both a mobile app as well as a website, our teams essentially had to go through the process twice, with a careful study in User Interface Design for a smaller smartphone screen as well as a much larger desktop browser. We engaged in a collaborative discussion with the HeyInviteMe team to allow the stakeholders to decide what items they were comfortable with focusing on for each platform. For the sake of simplicity and assuring a positive user experience, the mobile application had to be an "abridged" version of the site, while preserving the most important and relevant features, and carefully omitting others.
Only after the architecture of the app and website was solidified, was ISBX able to utilize the assets it had completed from the design process to begin building the website.
The site itself was centrally focused on providing new visitors with fresh new faces and activity. ISBX approached the experience by focusing on two unique user personas:
- New Visitor
- Registered user
By defining the users and understanding the behaviors of each, ISBX then proposed for the development of two separate experiences to help make the site more meaningful in context to each persona.
Non-registered and new visitors were to be presented with a collection of nearby users, based on their detected location. The idea was to elicit engagement with new visitors, either by enticing them to click on a profile or view other sections of the site. The visitor was then greeted by a friendly message to register for the site under a limited-time 30-day free trial.
For Registered users, ISBX proposed for the design of two "epics" - a meaningful search and filtering system as well as an easy to use Invite feature.
The search feature allowed a registered user the unique ability to search for a nearby open and active "event" posted by another member. The user could then request an invite while continually searching for other events. The registered member was also able to search by the individual, utilizing a multitude of filters such as gender, age, race, interests, location, etc.
The Invite feature allowed a member to either create an event and then invite other members to that event or leave the event open for users to request an invitation. A member could also search for open Invites. This idea was the defining feature of the site as envisioned by its founders and the rationale behind the name itself. Thus, ISBX had to design a robust system, but one that was easy to understand and use.
The site and mobile app also featured an internal messaging system that allowed members to communicate with each other without the requirement of providing an email address or other personal identifiable contact information. The messaging system was complete with history, new messages and a compose feature.
To wrap it up, ISBX also performed its industry leading Search Engine Optimization service to help increase the site's visibility in search.
ISBX was able to successfully bring the founders' concept from a drawing to a full featured website and mobile application. Despite the basic concept of the site itself, ISBX was required to navigate through several critical aspects of the site's concept, design, build and launch. After a year of planning, architecting, developing and testing, the website was launched, with the mobile app following one month later. The site began acquiring users through the client's extensive PR, marketing and promotional efforts. Despite the site having no previous visibility in any of the major search engines, ISBX was able to solidify the site's presence in search within just 60 days of starting the campaign. The website's user base grew by the thousands and, to date, continues to be one of the fastest growing dating sites in the Southern California region. ISBX performed numerous iterations to the site and is proposing for a redesign of the site to fit today's expectations towards a responsive site design with sweeping imagery and interactive scrolling.