Users reported being overwhelmed by the volume of messages received and losing track of conversations because of competing attention in their inbox and other distractions. They cannot browse the app or complete other tasks if they are highly engaged in only one back and forth conversation. Users might lose their place in a list they're browsing or miss out on adding someone to their favorites list if they are constantly jumping to their inbox. The goal was to create a feature that allowed users to easily maintain existing high-priority conversations while still completing other important actions in the POF app. The KPIs for this feature were conversation depth, (number of back and forth messaging), as well as overall number of messages sent.
The end concept was a persistent chat interface, accessible from any screen in the app that allowed users to maintain immediate back and forth conversations. Users are prompted to add a conversation to their scrollable chat drawer, which is badged and updated with every new message. They can easily continue to participate in their active chats while still being able to browse, send and receive other messages, and use other dating features, keeping engagement metrics up.
I was the initial designer on this project, leading the conceptual and wireframing phases. Because we had a solid hypothesis, I focused on diverging the solution space. I organised a collaborative sketching session, involving engineers in the brainstorming in order to draw on their platform-specific knowledge. The group generated a series of ideas drawing on iOS 10 UI patterns to create a new custom chat component for the iOS app. I followed this up with identifying all of the user scenarios and edge cases, mapping the new flow, and wireframing the solutions.