Interaction & Motion Design
Messaging on Zoosk serves a dual purpose. One purpose is a discovery mechanism to meet new people that expressed interest in you. The second purpose is to maintain and foster conversation with people that you have established a connection with.
Both of these purposes can get lost due to a signal to noise ratio. Many people get massive amounts of messages every day. This means it becomes increasingly difficult to find the new people they are interested in, and maintain conversations with their connections. We sought to rethink the inbox experience to help people with both issues.
When this project began, the initial thinking was that adding things like folders, mass actions, and filtering would help. This would have been a big improvement on the inbox experience since these actions were lacking, and our inbox was very similar to an email experience.
We quickly identified that this simply would not be enough to accommodate both use cases adequately. As we looked through more social media and email providers it was clear that the Zoosk use cases were going to require something drastically different. We couldn't think of the messaging experience on Zoosk in the same way we think of email.
Ultimately the Product Manager and myself approached the CEO with a plan to split our current inbox into two separate messaging experience, each specifically catered to a particular use case.
First Messages & Conversations
The discovery mechanism inbox, called First Messages, was the inbox for helping people find others who had an interest in them. Messages could only show in this inbox if they had come from another person, and the inbox owner had never replied to this person before. Essentially these were first incoming messages.
First Messages also had a feature where we integrated behavioral match making to pull some of the messages a person was seeing out of the list and highlight those messages as coming from people that they may have an interest in. This was meant to help a person find those first opening communications with other people that they matched up with so that those messages didn't get lost in the list.
Conversations was the second inbox. The conversations inbox was for message threads where both people were participating. This inbox would typically have a much lower amount of activity, but when there was activity it would be of very high value to the person receiving it.
The response from the launch of First Messages was very positive. We saw engagement increase in both of the new inboxes.
This feature was initially released on zoosk.com and subsequently released on iOS and Android devices. The major difference for mobile versus the web based version of this feature was that the mass actions were always visible on web, while they only appeared after a message was select on mobile. On mobile when a message was selected the action menu would slide up from the bottom of the screen. Given the limited real estate on a mobile device and since a user could not take any actions until a message was selected, we felt that the actions did not need to show until a message had been selected.
Increase in time spent on messages
Call center complaints