A mobile application for queer women and non-binary people to explore unambiguous relationships online
March to June 2021
Graduate Student Project
Team of 2 UX Designers and 2 UX Researchers
About the App
Lambda is a mobile application created for queer women and non-binary people to explore different kinds of relationships that are clearly defined, removing the ambiguity of the intention of
the relationship that tends to occur within non-heterosexual relationships.
Lambda clearly labels different kinds of relationships for queer women and non-binary people to avoid confusion regarding the overall intention and goals of the relationship.
Queer women and non-binary people find it more difficult to form and maintain non-platonic relationships than their cisgender heterosexual peers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made dating even more difficult for this population.
Analyzing Interview Data
We conducted semi-structured interviews with people that identified as queer women and non-binary people to understand why this demographic was having limited success with current online dating applications.
of our interviewees said that they were worried about appearing predatory on online dating applications, a harmful stereotype attributed to LGBTQIA+ communities.
of our interviewees said that being socialized to take a passive role in relationships from a young age affected their ability to form non-platonic relationships.
of our interviewees said that even after matching on a dating app, it can be unclear if two people are meeting up to go on a romantic date, hang out as friends, or hook up.
Our team identified three major themes after creating an affinity map from the data we gathered during our interview sessions.
Queer women and non-binary people find it difficult to form and maintain non-platonic relationships.
Queer women and non-binary people are concerned with appearing predatory on online dating apps or are unsure of the kind of relationship they are pursuing, and therefore do not often make the first move. This results in a lack of success with online relationships.
How can we make queer women and non-binary people feel more certain in the intent of relationships on mobile dating applications to encourage them to more actively pursue these relationships?
Developing a Solution
Based on our the data we gathered from our interviews, we created personas that would fit within our target demographic of queer women and non-binary people interested in pursuing relationships online. We used these personas to define issues that our users faced when navigating queer relationships in the online dating space. Our personas also personified the goals of many of our research participants.
Ideation and Down-Selection
We brainstormed ideas based on our users needs and then narrowed our focus to a mobile application concept.
Our team came up with different concepts, and we chose to use a few of the features we brainstormed to create a larger concept for a mobile dating application.
To define our user experience, we mapped out our envisioned customer journey based on data we collected from our research and our personas. We separated our customer journey into two stages: onboarding and matching.
Initial Prototypes and User Testing
We created our initial low and mid-fidelity digital prototypes using Figma, and tested out a feature for advertising on the platform that used AI to suggest date activities that were sponsored by advertisers to two users that had matched and mentioned possible ideas for dates.
These screens outline the private message function flow of the user experience, where the application would suggest sponsored content paid for by advertisers on the platform as ideas for dates or meetups.
This particular feature tested poorly with our users, with 96% of people reporting that the AI suggestions were too intrusive, and they felt like they had no privacy on the application.
Taking this feedback to improve the user's perceived sense of privacy, we modified the way in which we advertised on this platform. We switched to more traditional methods of advertising such as sponsored profiles of advertisers that would appear in the swipe queue.
Overview of Lambda
Lambda is a mobile application created for queer women and non-binary people to explore different kinds of relationships that are clearly defined, removing the ambiguity of the intention of the relationship that tends to occur within non-heterosexual relationships. Removing the ambiguity surrounding non-platonic relationships helps queer women and non-binary people be more assertive and successful in online dating.
Why the Name Lamdba?
In 1970, graphic designer Tom Doerr selected the lower-case Greek letter lambda to be the symbol of the New York chapter of the Gay Activists Alliance, and in December 1974, it was officially declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights.
Clearly Defining Online Relationships
Lambda allows users to choose what kind of relationships they want to pursue. Lambda offers matches for long-term and casual relationships, as well as platonic relationships. Depending on the user's intent, they can choose one or all three of the provided relationship categories to pursue.
Setting Up Profiles
For each relationship category users choose, they must up an individual profile for that specific category. This feature allows users to control what they want to share about themselves in different relationship situations.
For example, a user might want to present themselves differently to potential friends on the application, and present themselves differently to people they are interested in having casual relationships with.
These screens outline the process of setting up a profile for the "casual relationships" section of the application.
Users can switch between different tabs of different kinds of relationships on the app. Setting up separate tabs for each category of relationship allows users to clearly understand the intent of the relationship, reducing miscommunication. These separate tabs also mean that the user can be confident in the fact that the person they match with has the same intent for the relationship as they do.
Users can privately message the people they matched with on the application. The different kinds of relationships are color coded to correspond with the color coding on the main screens.
All of the people we user tested with within our demographic said they would prefer to use Lambda over existing dating applications like Her, Tinder and Bumble.
Users reported feeling more certain about their relationship intentions while using the application, and felt more confident in their interactions within the app.
Users preferred browsing within categories of clearly defined relationships because it reduced the ambiguity and uncertainty that they felt when engaging with other users on the app.