Before getting started with any project like this it is good to think about the design. When I say design I really mean the user interface. It can go a long way to helping define the data model and operations of an app at a lower level. In this case I am following the main layout components of the Click Date Love website as a starting point. See below for some of my initial sketches for activities.
Last time I tried to get into Android development the best (only) choice was the Eclipse plugin and tools which were probably the worst thing about creating an app at the time for me. Now though there is android studio
The initial setup of studio was hampered for me by some of the hard linking meaning I was missing certain system libraries compared to a Ubuntu target build. Once I had rebooted into Kubuntu all was good and I had my first sample app online in a few minutes.
Discover Other Users
One of the things that we wanted to make work really differently with Click Date Love was the way that people discover other people that they may be interested in.
[caption id="attachment_216" align="alignright" width="300"] A new way to discover people[/caption]
One of the truths of dating that also applies Online is that first impressions count. With our site we are trying to do a few things to help out our lovers to be make the right impression and we want to translate that into our app too.
The thing that makes Online dating different is that it is possible to browse through literally thousands of people. Even picking someone you know out of a crowd of a thousand people can be hard. Imagine how hard it is to pick out someone you like. Sure, browsing photos at a rate of one per second can be fun, but are you really giving those people a chance to make an impression? Chances are you are probably just playing 'hot'-enough or 'not'!
As a social experiment, we are going to see how behaviour changes is you take away the opportunity to search through every single profile. There are probably a few people out there who are right for you so the trick is to help you find them. Ultimately that probably doesn't mean scanning ten thousand profiles thumbnails a day.
When you are discovering new people you really only need to have a vague idea if you would consider them based on that all important first impression. If you would then you go on to learning more about them.
View your Favourites
[caption id="attachment_218" align="alignright" width="300"] View your favourites[/caption]
Once someone has piqued your interest you will want to get to know a little more about them and perhaps break the ice. Like with discovering new potential matches, how you deal with favourites is really important. Let's face it, most of us that have used Online dating know at least one person (or have been on a date with someone) who spends all of their time doing first dates. Perhaps that girl (or guy) has twenty or fifty different chat threads going with different people. If the goal is to have more than a hundred first dates a year that is probably going to work out fine for you.
The other problem is the 'one that got away'. It is far too easy to fixate and hang on to the hope that someone will respond to you rather than moving on. Or perhaps you keep a spark of a conversation going from time to time just because, who knows right? Wrong: If you haven't clicked, move on, discover new people! There are always more fish in the sea!
The point is to choose, that is why we are going to limit the number of favourites you can have, and, you guessed it, if you want to add someone new to your favourites you might have to give up on one of those 'old hopes', dropping them from your favourites to add the next Mr or Ms right.
View A Profile
In our launch blog post Why The World Needs Another Dating Website, we know that for lots of people, breaking the ice is tricky and there are ways to make it easier. Looking at a profile should be as much about starting a conversation as it is getting to know someone.
Click Date Love doesn't have any long forms to fill out and you don't have to write an essay. A lot of the time the things people write don't tell you anything anyway. It is understanding when you think about it that people don't want to say too much in their profile. Unlike in a real chance encounter every word will be poured over and debated as potential reasons not to respond to the message you spent hours writing, or in some senses, milliseconds pasting. Why bother, most people are terrible at describing themselves in the way that other people see them.
Keep an eye out for future announcements on the click date love blog about how we are making breaking the ice easier.
Chat With A Favourite
The biggest headache for the build if this demo app is the chat application. Not just on the app but on the main site, chat is a pain and there are lots of vendors doing it well out there. Hopefully I can find one.
Services in Android allow you to run background tasks. For the initial build of the demo app it is unlikely that we will do more than is presented in the web UI but services that would seem to make sense are:
- Updates of your favourites.
- New discovery updates.
- New message sync.
- Caching profiles and data about a user.
- Syncing your profile.