Building a dating app for hip hop fans

Bound 2
Mobile App, Viral Marketing, User Testing, UX / UI Design

Earlier this year, one of the Crowdform team launched a dating website for Kanye West fans as a side project. The site captured the public’s attention and ended up going somewhat viral, getting airtime on Fox News, Radio 1 and MTV just to mention a few names.

Inspired by this success we decided to work on the project together, completely redesigning and rebuilding the initial site (which by his own admission was a little clunky) into a top of the range iOS app.

Our first step was to pool the early adopters from the initial launch into one big Telegram group chat. Not only was this useful to build momentum before launching but the assurance of regular feedback loops with our users gave us the confidence to quickly iterate through dozens of experimental UX ideas with the knowledge that we couldn’t stray too far wrong.

The outcome of this process was two bold UX decisions. Firstly we replaced conventional swiping with the ability to send your favourite emojis to potential suitors. And secondly, after listening to our early adopters complain about the pains of “awkward dating app small talk”, we introduced the “Ye Button” allowing users to initiate conversations by sending funny rap lyrics from their favourite artists. Our testing proved to be worthwhile and both features got a resoundingly positive response upon launch.

Having finalised the UI / UX we began development. Eager to give our users the optimal mobile app experience, React Native was the logical choice of framework. We paired that with Firebase to benefit from real-time database integration and the ease at which Firebase allows you to send well-timed push notifications. Which we knew would be key to re-engage our users.

Fully aware that building a product would only be half the battle, we made sure to allocate plenty of time to devising our marketing strategy. In the run up to launch we grew our Instagram following to over 6000, cut a pre-launch video and built relationships with YouTube influencers (who would later go on to feature our app). All of which proved critical in acquiring users later down the line.

Bound 2 was launched to the App Store in late 2018. It was downloaded several thousand times in the first few days with emojis, matches and rap lyrics flying in every direction. The number of users continues to grow daily, driven mainly by word-of-mouth and a few carefully placed sponsored YouTube videos. And the best part? Undoubtedly the emails we get sent about the weird and wonderful encounters the app has facilitated. Although we’re still waiting for the first Bound 2 wedding…