eHarmony HD for iPad

September 28, 2011

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If you’ve read our previous post, then you already understand the rationale behind our design choices in eHarmony HD for iPad, so let’s jump in and see what we built.

The first thing you’ll notice when using the application is its icon.  Often times, companies think of their app icon as an afterthought.  The icon is THE way people first experience an application and because of that, the design team took extra care in building the icon for eHarmony HD.  The icon features a detailed, leather-bound book with an inlaid eHarmony stone.  It looks very touchable and hopefully is a great indication to you that you’re about to use something special.

Getting Started

Arvind2 1 eHarmony HD for iPadWhen the app first opens, you arrive at the desktop, where you can register, take our tour, or login (if you already have an account).  The registration form is not our normal registration form.  You’re about to start a journey with our service, so why not start with a personal letter from you to us, telling us who you are and who you’re looking for.  If you have questions about our service, click on the tour and swipe through a quick, elegant 5-slide overview about the experience.  You notice that the tour features rich photography.  We used it because we thought it be a more enjoyable way to showcase the experience.  Before you move on, there’s actually one more thing you can interact with on this screen.  It’s something that the design team put in as a fun bit of polish, but I’m not going to tell you what it is.  I will give you a hint though: there’s nothing like starting your day off with a hot beverage from Starbucks.

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After you sign up, our famous eHarmony Relationship Questionnaire(RQ) begins. The RQ is an important part of the eHarmony process.  It’s how we learn about you and whom you’re looking for.  Over the years, the RQ has also been a great mechanism to filter out less serious people who are only signing up to see photos and that have no intention of trying to find a great relationship.  Like the iPhone, in eHarmony HD, we utilize a “book” format in that, the entire RQ is taken from within a blue eHarmony RQ book.  It’s easy to complete.  Just touch the answers to the questions shown on a page, then swipe to the next page, just like you would if you were reading a real book.

You’ll be done sooner than you realize, and you will arrive at the Activity Feed.  It’s impossible to have a great experience on our service without a great profile, which means telling your matches about yourself and posting some photos.  Since you don’t have any Match Activity yet, let’s go ahead and touch the My Profile label in the bottom navigation.

Building your profile

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The table rotates to your profile.  We use animation throughout the experience in a non-gratuitous way to help you focus on the activity in front of you. When you arrive at the Profile Editing screen, you’ll see your profile as it appears to other eHarmony HD members.  At this point, it’ll likely be looking a little sparse, so let’s get to work.  Just touch a question or a field, and it becomes immediately editable.  Type away, and when you’re done. Don’t forget to save your changes!

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Adding a photo, or two, or three, or twelve(!) is also easy.  If you’re on an iPad 2 you have three ways to add a photo, but if you’re on the original iPad you have only two:

1)      Add a photo from your library – just pick an album and then select the photos you want.

2)      Add a photo from Facebook – login with your Facebook ID and we’ll display your Facebook photo albums.  Pick your photos and we’ll handle the rest.  Don’t worry, we will NOT post anything to your wall.

3)      Take a photo using your iPad’s camera (iPad 2 only) – it’s simple.  Pose, snap your photo, crop it and then save it.

Remember, if you have more photos posted, you tend to get more communication, so add at least a few if you can.  It’s also great practice to periodically add new photos.

It’s all about YOU

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After you’re done here, let’s get to know you, the real you, a little better.  Touch the Personality Profile label in the bottom navigation.  This brings up your Personality Profile.  The team had this innovative idea: since you completed our RQ book when you signed up, it only made sense that we’d give you a personalized book in return.  So we named your report “The Book of You”.  The Book of You is our 5 factor analysis of your personality, and it’s based on decades of psychological research.  We wanted to make the experience a pleasure to read (it’s important stuff), so the pages are laid out for great readability, and support swiping for easy page turning.

Now, go back to the Match Activity page. Click on the “Learn More” sticky under your picture.  This takes you to our subscription page.  Here, you can pick the plan you’re interested in by grabbing a sticky from the bottom area and dragging it to the open space on the right side.  Enter your address, and click confirm, and your subscription is instantly billed to your iTunes account.  One thing to keep in mind – if you don’t find a plan that works for you, you can always visit us onsite at www.eharmony.com, where we have even more plans available.

Let’s look at some matches!

Now that you’ve subscribed, let’s visit the My Matches area.  You should have matches by now, so let’s take a look.  Like our main site, you’re My Matches page is organized into three tabs:

  • New – these are newly delivered matches or matches that you’ve viewed but have yet to take action on
  • Communicating – these are matches that you are currently communicating with
  • Archived – these are matches that you’ve opted to not pursue at this time

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Your matches on any tab are displayed in a view that the team nicknamed “Baseball Card” view.  Each match’s photo appears on a Polaroid with their name and location.  To see all of your new matches, just swipe to the right, and your matches will smoothly fly by.  To support this view, we’re really taking advantage of the processing power of the iPad, and it’s a refreshing way to view your matches.  It’s something that we just wouldn’t have been able to do very easily on any other platform.

One other feature that we’ve included on this page is the ability to Archive or Close matches in bulk.  It’s something a many customers have been asking us for, so we’re happy to be providing it now.  To bulk Archive any of your new matches, just click on the Archive button in the top left corner, and you’ll see the match polaroids go into the famous iOS “jiggly mode”.  Just click on the x’s, click the Archive button again, and then all of your selected matches are sent to your Archive tab.

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See someone you’re interested in?  Go ahead and click on him.  The match’s polaroid navigates upwards and is placed in his respective dossier, where you can learn more about him.  With the match profile page, our team set about creating an experience that would help our customers make a deep connection with their matches.  So instead of just a straight text experience all the way down the profile, you’ll see elements like photos and common interests (Something to Talk About) sprinkled throughout the body of the profile.  The team created one of the most distinctive profiles in our industry, and based on usability testing, the design helps you to better connect with your matches.  It accomplishes this because you’ll find that this layout actually gets you to read the entire profile.

Ready for your close up?

Stunning photography is often used to indicate an elegant experience.  In our case it also helps also helps you to really connect with your matches.  eHarmony HD features some of the biggest photos of ANY dating site.  Click on the match’s photo in the top left corner and it opens up our dedicated photo browser.  You can browse all of your match’s photos just by swiping left or right or you can use the Photo Strip controller, found in the top right corner.  To really see your match, touch the middle of the photo, and all of the navigational elements disappear, leaving nothing between you and your match.  Talk about a connection!

Let’s talk!

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Once you’re done viewing his photos and ready to start the conversation, touch the Send Message button, found under the main profile picture.  The communication module slides out.  Just like the site, you can choose between two forms of communication:

  1. Guided Communication – eHarmony’s 4-step process that’s geared towards new customers or people new to online dating in general
  2. eHarmony Mail – anonymous email

If you need more help with communication, touch the Learn More button to reach the more detailed tutorial.  As you read the tutorial, sharp eyes will notice another fun Easter egg that the design team included in the interface.

Can you hear me now?

Most apps on the iPad outside of games typically do not include sound.  It’s for good reason – it’s hard to do in a way that’s not annoying.  As we were beta testing this app, we had a friend of eHarmony, who works on sound editing for famous TV shows like Mad Men and The Sopranos, convince us to add sound.  His point was that the application we had built was experiential and sound could only help to improve a customer’s comprehension.  So he helped us to add subtle sound effects throughout the experience such as when the table rotates, when you delete items on your Activity Feed, when you touch any button, and more.

More Help and Feedback

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The last things we want to mention are in the area of help and feedback.  On any page in the experience, if you ever get stuck, just touch the “i” in the lower right corner of the screen, and select tutorial.  This brings up the blueprints for the current page you’re on.  The blueprint will contain instructions on how the page works.

Finally, while we’ve worked long and hard on this project, we’re still open to feedback.  If you love it, if you hate, if you have suggestions – WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  Just touch “Send Feedback” and you can send us a note directly.  Know that we can’t answer every email personally, but we’ll always read and share them amongst the team.

On behalf of the entire company, we want to thank you for trying eHarmony HD.  We hope it leads to an amazing first date and then some. icon smile eHarmony HD for iPad

 

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