INNOVATIVE DATING APP FOR A LIFESTYLE STARTUP

  • Contemporary dating app that matched members based on proprietary matching algorithm
  • Developed a highly dynamic membership enrollment questionnaire to calculate ‘compatibility metrics’
  • Administrator module to approve, reject or suspend users
  • TECH STACK:
    ReactRedux NodeMongoDB
  • EXPERTISE:
    StartupLifestyle
  • VERTICAL:
    Custom Software DevelopmentSocial Network Development
  • ENGAGEMENT MODEL:
    Fixed Cost Fixed Scope

BACKGROUND

The founders are socilaites who’ve spent a good part of their life in New York City. They had an innovative idea for one of a kind dating app that didn’t exist in the market at the time. They wanted to bring together members with matching ‘Compatibility Metrics’ to ‘Markets’ hosted by local businesses. The level of compatibility is determined based on responses provided by the members in their application. ‘Markets’ are curated to align with members’ metrics. They didn’t want to host ‘Dating Events’ per se, but simply wanted to put compatible people in the right place at the right time and let nature take its course.

At the time the client reached out to us, their application was already developed using WordPress. Though it was up and running, it was slow and buggy. It also did not allow for much control over user status, access permissions and restrictions. Even basic features like resetting user passwords were a challenge.

After a couple of meetings with our team, the client decided to hire us for this project because of the strong communication and background developing similar social networking apps.

Challenges
  • The primary challenge we faced was with the membership enrollment questionnaire. All users had to answer a basic set of questions, but the subsequent set of questions depended on the user responses to those basic set of 10-12 questions. Additionally, site administrators had to have the flexibility to modify the questions and questionnaire dependencies at any time. This dynamic nature of the enrollment questionnaire brought some technical challenges that had to be solved on all layers (i.e; presentation layer, business layer and database layer) of the application.
  • The second challenge we faced is related to securing sensitive personal information and private profile images of users. Traditional hosting solutions such as on-premise servers and public cloud either slowed down the application or lacked the needed security.

SOLUTION

Our team created two separate portals with different workflows for each:

1. Member Workflow

  • Compatibility Metrics This module of the application enables new users to enroll in the dating app by filling out an enrollment questionnaire. Using responses provided in this questionnaire, we calculate ‘Compatibility Metrics’ which is then fed to the matching algorithm. The matching algorithm determines all the other members that are a match for this member.
  • Background checks As part of this workflow, we integrated tools to run background checks on members once they enroll, in order to prevent them from adding fraudulent profiles. Personal information provided by users at the time of sign up is used for verification purposes. If a user fails to clear the verification process, their profile is disabled.
  • Information security To ensure that sensitive information of the members and private images can be securely stored and retrieved without compromise on performance, we hosted the images on Amazon S3 as part of a private bucket. We ensured that only the front-end could read the images from S3, and only the back-end had access to write on S3. We created unique URLs for each image, with short expiry time for extra security.

2. Admin Workflow This module of the application allows the client’s admin team to manage new users, approve/reject users and also fill out membership forms on behalf of new users who have expressed interest in enrolling.

Both the member and admin modules were developed using

  • React & Redux for the front-end
  • Node for the back-end
  • MongoDB as the database.

We followed Agile methodology and had regular sprint review/code demo sessions with the client to ensure that client feedback is periodically incorporated into the product.

The application was hosted on the AWS cloud using EC2 Instance, S3 Bucket, RDS, and SES. Before signing off, the client performed UAT (User Acceptance Testing) with their close circle of friends and family. Finally, we created the production environment for the application on AWS and deployed the application, which is now readily available at https://www.meetmarket.us/.

RESULTS

We delivered to the MeetMarket team a highly scalable, modern dating app that gave them the control and functionality they needed to grow. The app turned the founder’s ingenious idea into reality. While connecting singles that are like-minded, it allows businesses in New York city to acquire loyal new customers.

BENEFITS

This new software solution allowed MeetMarket to:

  • Use custom algorithms and compatibility metrics to analyze and match members
  • Build communities of like-minded and compatible members who can be brought together in a comfortable semi-private setting called ‘Markets’
  • Make suggestions for their members to connect with like-minded people who share common interests with them
  • Tie up with local businesses (i.e; ‘Markets) to plan and host events that match the lifestyle & interests of their various members (music, food, cocktails, etc.)
  • Send members invites to ‘Markets’ via email and allow “check-in” discreetly from their device

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