A search tool is an important function for any dating site. It allows users to find content within the site and provides them with a positive experience, ensuring that they stick around. If a site does not have an effective search tool, users will simply find another dating solution.
With years of experience in developing online dating site features, our search tools have been created specifically to help members find exactly what they’re looking for, easily and efficiently.
As part of this project we’ve added some fantastic new features to make the way members search for one another on-site even better. We’ve made it much more comprehensive yet much more simple at the same time - yes, we think that makes sense!
It worked just fine, so why?
Our aim was to improve the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) to make it as easy and efficient as possible for members to find exactly what they’re looking for, across all of our dating niches.
By making these considerable enhancements to the search tool, members will spend more time on site, as well as send and receive more messages. The enhanced tool and associated changes will mean members continue to drive engagement across the platform, but at a faster rate.
As we know, platform engagement positively correlates with our partners' upgrades rates, so we’re excited to see a boost in subscription revenues and in turn their ROI as a result of this exciting project.
So, what does our search tool look like now?
This project involved us adding a number of brand new features, as well as making enhancements to the search tool’s current features. The changes have been across both mobile and desktop devices with additional steps being taken on mobile to ensure consistency across the UX for all devices.
Multiple Saved Searches
Members are now able to save multiple searches and name them for ease of use when returning to site
This is a brand new feature and our favourite addition to the search tool. Members can now save and name multiple search criteria and click between them easily to find a suitor. The new saved search feature will increase the rate at which members send out messages as less time is wasted doing the search itself each time. More messages will lead to more upgrades - remember, basic members must upgrade before they can reply. Before this enhancement, search filters simply default to the one, most recent search.
We’re also working on getting saved search results sent straight to the members email inbox - watch this space!
Img: Saved search on desktop
We've added new search fields to allow partners to expand targeting capabilities within each niche
Adding more search fields, for example new interests that members can be searched by, will allow members to provide more information about themselves to enhance their profiles. As members spend more time on-site investing in their dating profiles, engagement is greater, leading to higher upgrade rates and lower cancellation rates.
Our over 50s niche, for example, offers optimised member profiles with interests tailored to those over 50, such as golf, wine tasting, crossword puzzles, yoga and knitting - to name just a few.
Img: Niche specific interests (over 50s niche)
Addition of Filters
We've added filters to ensure members can narrow their search criteria and easily find what they're looking for
Having search filters is essential to help members narrow down their criteria and keeping them satisfied with the dating service. With hundreds of thousands of new members joining our dating niches each month it’s important members can refine their searches to find what they’re looking for.
On the search page members are able to search for filters within categories. On our mainstream and casual niches, filters are broken down by ‘appearance’ and ‘lifestyle’. Our over 50s niche breaks down search criteria even further to provide even more clarity by including a category of ‘interests’.
Img: Search categories and filters on the mainstream and casual nichesImg: Search categories and filters on the over 50s niche
Img: Search categories and filters on mobile device on the over 50s niche
As well as the new filter options that members can now search by, they are able to order their search results by when the users were last online, who is the newest to the site, who has the newest photo on their profile and who has most recently updated anything on their profile, for example profile text.
Img: Default sorting ('sort by') options for the new search tool
Profile Page Changes
We've enhanced other pages within the app to display filters inline with the new additions
The new search fields and filters that appear on the improved search page have been reflected across the signup wizard, the 'my profile' page and other members' profile pages to establish consistency across them all, as well as allow the search tool to function effectively.
Img: New categories and filters reflected across the 'my profile' page
Changes to Default Filters
We've changed the default filters to always display members with a photo
Making this change to default filters on the search page ensures that whenever a member joins a dating site (across any of our niches) there are no profiles in the search results that render a silhouette if a member has not yet uploaded a photo. Members are 15x more likely to engage with a profile that has a photo.
Img: Silhouettes could appear in search results by default in the old search tool
Members are still able to search for users without a photo, however, they must remove this filter from their search criteria. Another popular filter members are able to search by is ‘Online now’, which filters the search results to only include members that are online and therefore likely to respond faster, further increasing engagement.
Img: Members can easily filter by 'has photo' and 'online now'
Introductions Added to Search Page
Introduction messages can now be sent straight from the search results page
Introduction messages can now be sent straight from the search page. Introductions are sent to everyone who meets the members search criteria. Introductions increase the number of messages sent and boosts engagement. Members are also encouraged to upload photos and fill out their profiles before sending a free introduction message. As well as increasing engagement levels, this improves the UX across the niche.
Img: Introduction messages can now be sent directly from the search results page
Location Searching Enhancements
We've increased the number of members displayed in the search results when filtering by location
Increasing the radius values that members are able to filter by will significantly increase the member volumes appearing in the search results. Now, more than ever, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, distance is becoming less of a issue for member when they are searching to connect online, so the more members we can get in front of their eyes, the more likely members are to upgrade and continue conversations.
Img: Location radius has been extended to maximise the number of members appearing in the search results
When a member chooses to refine their search to a radius, an additional sorting option appears, allowing them to order the search results by distance, showing those closest to them at the top of the results page. This increases the likelihood of successful communication and potential dates.
Img: When searching by location members can order the results by distance
As well as the ability to search within a mile radius, members are also able to view members from 'anywhere' by leaving the location search field blank.
Default Age Search Enhancements
We have changed the way the default age appears on the site
This change was undertaken to support another of our exciting projects - the development of our unique Over 50s niche and other niches (that are soon to come!)
The default minimum and maximum search ages will now match the settings of the site, not the niche. For example, a partner running sites on our mainstream niche may only be targeting people under 40 and therefore having users aged 40+ in the search page results would give a poor user experience. Also, if a site on our over 50 niche is targeted to 70+, it would also be a poor UX if 50 year olds were appearing.
Img: Default search ages now match the target settings of the site, not the niche
To further support the new niches project we have also added age restrictions to the signup pages to reflect the age targeting settings of the site. Any site on our over 50s niche will have a minimum sign up date of both of a 50 year old.
We're thrilled with the changes that have been made to improve the overall search experience for members. All of the above will keep profiles active and at the top of search results, meaning more interaction and engagement.
Enabling members to narrowly refine their searches and by removing any potential barriers that could slow users down whilst finding suitors online means that members will send more messages, at a faster rate, to those that they find desirable - now in just a few clicks.
We're excited to see our partners start to reap the rewards of this project as engagement across the platform grows.
If you have any questions about our new search tool, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.