Finding new ways to increase user engagement by encouraging users to complete their profiles


  • Product Designer

Project Type

  • Design Challenge

Tools Used

  • Sketch


  • August 5, 2019 (1 day)

Taking a design challenge as an opportunity to improve my design process

Before starting a new role I worked on this design challenge focused around the Bumble BFF app. I took this design challenge as not only an opportunity to show my skills and abilities, but also to challenge myself.

I was fascinated by the process we took while doing design sprints during my internship with eCompliance, so I used a similar process taking different tools and methods to approach completing this design challenge in just one day.

⛔  Disclaimer

The following project was NOT done in association with Bumble. This case study was done solely as an educational exercise and should not be associated with the company in any way.

Business & Personal Objectives

What were we trying to achieve?
Increase user engagement
Promote profile completion
Use design sprint methods to complete the design challenge in one day

User Goal

What are our users trying to achieve?
Save time viewing profiles with relevant information readily available
Find people with similar interests/experiences
Create a profile that accurately portrays them


What restrictions did I have to consider?
Short turnaround time
Bumble branding to stay moderately the same
No budget or resources for user research or testing


What was I responsible for?
Planning and organizing an individual design sprint
Finding an affordable way to conduct research
Designing concepts & determining success metrics

On Bumble, there are three different user types: date, bff, and bizz. In all three of these user types, the profiles stay relatively stagnant. Most of the information collected in Bumble BFF profiles are not relevant to determining if someone would be a good friend or not, and on top of that, most individuals on Bumble BFF don't complete their profile.

Design a creative solution that focuses on the right information and promotes profile completion for Bumble BFF.

Using the Design Sprint process to tackle this design challenge in just one day

At first I wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach this challenge. In reality I'd spend a week or more on a similar problem but I really wanted to challenge myself to tackle this challenge in a day. I came up with a plan and included methods from the Design Sprint process to come up with a few possible solutions for the problem.

I skipped the “Decide” stage as they mostly involved team exercises, and I used the “Validate” stage to outline how I’d go about testing if this were a real problem. Below is a high level overview of the stages and methods I used from Google’s Design Sprints Methodology website.

Set the Stage
Problem Statement
Set the goal(s)
Outline assumptions
3 HRS, 40 MINS
General research
Affinity map
Job stories
User journey map
HMW statements
Success metrics
Crazy 8's
Hi-Fi Mockups

Creating the perfect space for working and documenting

I made myself a little area with all the necessary tools needed to focus and complete the design challenge. I find that I think better on paper, and like being able to take a hands on approach to solving problems in the early stages of discovering, researching, and ideating.


Our Bumble BFF users are not completing their profiles because they find the information collected on profiles isn't relevant to determining if someone would be a good friend or not.

If we can solve this problem, it would impact our Bumble BFF users positively because they would be able to determine whether someone is a good friend based on relevant information. It would also benefit our business because these users would complete their profiles more often, increasing engagement with the feature/app.


Design a creative solution that focuses on the right information and promotes profile completion for Bumble BFF.


Reviewing the existing patterns, flows, and interactions

Before starting this project, it was important for me to get familiar with the Bumble app. While going through the onboarding and sign up flows of the app, I made a note of things that stood out to me when completing my profile.

The existing app encouraged users to complete their profile in the onboarding process, but also gave the option to skip and complete aspects of their profile later. Through prompts, users are able to put together a profile that best represents who they are and what they're looking for in a friend.


Making a list of assumptions to avoid personal bias

With this being a design challenge that I aimed to complete in one day, it was inevitable that I'd be making a lot of assumptions. To avoid any personal bias, I wanted to list these assumptions.

With this list I had a clear understanding of what I didn't know, and what I needed to learn through user research.


Users aren’t completing their profiles because they aren’t being asked the right questions to reveal relevant information

Users are technologically savvy and familiar with interaction patterns around popular dating or networking apps (ex: swiping yes or no)

Users choose to complete their profile afterwards but never get around to doing so

The profile creation process is too long and users don’t want to go through the hassle of completing it

Users want to see more information on other people’s profiles

Profile information is a starting point for conversations on Bumble BFF


Using research findings to workshop and develop a better understanding of the user's needs

The "Understand" stage of a design sprint to me is the most important part of any design related project. Without a proper understanding of who I'd be designing for, it would be nearly impossible for me to deliver a solution without any bias. So, how exactly do you go about collecting research and putting yourself in someone else's shoes, in just one day?

The following stage goes through the lightweight process I took to collect research and create some UX deliverables. This process was completed with a hands on approach using whatever supplies I could find around my house, then later digitized.


Matching with Bumble BFF users to connect with them directly

What better way to collect research from Bumble users is there than messaging them? I swiped through a number of different profiles and kindly got around 4 people to fill out the following survey.

I also reached out to others who weren't on Bumble to get a better idea of how people go about forming friendships, and what they look for in a potential BFF.


Supporting my findings with additional research

The survey brought back a great deal of data, but lacked in detailed responses. With no budget, I looked for blogs or articles by people who have used Bumble BFF in the past.

Through these blogs, I found more detailed writing around how users go about making their profile, and their overall experience with the app.


Collecting our research notes to outline our key findings

I bundled the responses into an affinity diagram to make sense of all the data collected. With this exercise, I was able to develop deeper insights around the meaning of friendship and how that translates into an app like Bumble BFF.

Key Findings

A best friend is made over a long period of time, with themes of effort, comfortability, similar interests/experiences, and more playing a role

Users have a hard time expressing themselves accurately through the app whether it be through their photo, bio, or other form of information

There is a feeling of having to “sell yourself” that people find difficult when it comes to making friends at an older age


Using the research to create a visual representation of our user

Moving forward, I wanted to use the findings and research to visually tell a story through the use of personas. In a more common scenario I'd go about making multiple based on varying data.

Since the research I was able to collect mostly consisted of 18-24 year old women, I chose to focus the story in this perspective. With more time and resources, I would have diversified the research process to collect data that better represents more Bumble BFF users.

Margaret Spencer
Make new friends outside of work to hang out with and explore the city
Find someone with similar interests who is willing to do things she likes to do (go to concerts, explore new restaurants, etc…)
Develop a long-term friendship where she can comfortably share her thoughts, experiences, and more
Feel less lonely/home sick in her new city

Creating stories to outline the common jobs to be done

I used job stories to focus more on the job to be done as opposed to just one user. Although I focused the story on one persona, I wanted to ensure the solutions could still apply to multiple users.

Story #1

When I am looking for a new friend I want to know if we have similar interests/experiences so I can be sure that we can relate on a number of different topics

Story #2

When I am looking through people's profiles I want to find relevant information quickly so I can avoid wasting my time on people who I wouldn't mesh well with

Story #3

When I am creating my own profile I want to make sure it portrays who I am accurately so I can get more matches and attract people who are similar to me


Connecting the dots between the points in a journey and the product

Using a user journey map was the best way to put all this work together to clearly outline any opportunities. Skipping beyond the point of onboarding, I started the journey at the point where one would first get into the app and start looking at profiles.

From there, I created how might we statements that informed the opportunities and ideas I'd later explore in the next stage.

User Goal

Create a Bumble BFF account to find new friends in her city

How Might We Statements

How might we allow users to quickly add relevant information to their profile

How might we encourage users to fill out all parts of their profile

How might we provide the most relevant parts of one’s profile to a user

How might we minimize the time it takes to read/look through a profile


Determining our signals and metrics as it relates to our goal of increasing profile engagement

The process up to this point had given me enough information to consciously make design decisions that can effectively accomplish both user and business goals. In the following stage, I took the time to more clearly define specific context and desired outcomes of potential solutions. This would allow me to focus my attention more clearly on solving the problem at hand.


For uses to engage with their profiles


Number of times a user visits their profile page

Number of times a user completes a part of their profile

Number of times a user edits a part of their profile


Average % of profile information being completed

Number of updates being made to profile per day/week

Number of visits to profile per day/week

Number of conversions from blank profiles to filled out profiles

Average duration on profile page


Using sketches to focus on concepts before diving into the details

It's easy to want to quickly jump into a design tool and put a solution together, but often times I find this approach doesn't allow me to think freely. Trying to rid myself of those constraints, I took a pencil and some cards to sketch any ideas that came to mind. These sketches would later inform the designs I put together in following stage.


Sketching eight different solutions in eight minutes

I used the Crazy 8's method to time myself and quickly sketch together eight different solutions in 8 minutes. From the eight, I focused on the five that I believed would be the most effective and designed those in a higher fidelity.


Delivering four different solutions to increase profile engagement

From all this work came the following four solutions, which all uniquely aimed to increase profile engagement in different ways. At different touchpoints in the app, the following solutions would deliver a new experience for Bumble BFF users to find friends with ease.

"The Perfect Match"

This feature focuses on connecting people based on compatibility. Using various indicators from your profile, we'd connect you with others who would seem like a good match.

To get more accurate matches, one would have to complete their profile entirely. This feature would serve as a motivating factor to encourage users to complete their profile.

Find Similar Interests

Including interests in your Bumble profile allows you the ability to express yourself in new and interesting ways.

While browsing other profiles, if they have interests that you also like, you can simply add those to your profile with just one tap.

Message with Perfect Match Scores

Find new interests? No worries, your matches will adjust with you! As you change your profile, your match score with existing matches adjust accordingly.

This plays into the same motivation that comes from the first solution, at a different touchpoint.

Add Response to Profile

The existing Bumble BFF app allowed users to answer prompts that were pre-determined through the onboarding process. In context, these questions feel uninspired and unrelated.

With this feature, users can have conversations with matches and add the responses they send to their questions to their profile. In a way, it is an opportunity to answer frequently asked questions and add something unique to their profile!


Translating the mobile experience into the Bumble desktop app

With a thoughtful consideration for responsive design, I made sure the solutions I created would work across various devices. Bumble has both a web and mobile app to consider, and so I took some time to visualize these solutions on the web.


Reflecting on my process, the project outcome, and how I’ve grown in this role

Through working on this project I was able to gain a higher level understanding of what my design process looks like. Obviously in a real world setting there are a lot more considerations, constraints, and people to consider when solving a problem like this one. Regardless, I think my approach to this problem was executed well as I fortunately received a job offer after presenting it to the team!

If there's anything I've really learned about myself here, it's that I work well under constraints. I've learned that my ability to adapt to any situation and deliver high quality work regardless of time or resources is something that translates well when working as a product designer.

What went well...

Finding ways to collect research despite a lack of resources

Often times it can be difficult to get the appropriate budget or resources needed to conduct user research effectively. Under the time constraint that I gave myself, I effectively found interesting ways to collect research to avoid personal bias.

Organizing and executing a design sprint in a short amount of time

When it comes to planning and executing design sprints, there's a lot of factors that go into determining what activities are the most effective to get to a solution. Giving myself only a day, I had to carefully plan my process to ensure the final result would be satisfactory.

Delivering multiple solutions to test against our goals

Within approximately 10 hours I went from no knowledge of Bumble to having multiple solutions that would increase profile engagement. While these solutions would need to be tested to determine which is best, I'm proud of my design execution.

What I’d do differently...

Outline the next steps for how I'd validate these ideas

This challenge was not based on a real problem, but if it was, I would've approached it much differently. I would've included my team along the entire process, conducted usability tests with users, and iterated on these designs before launching any of these solutions.

Explore more concepts before moving forward

To stay within my given timeframe, I only sketched out a couple of ideas and went forward with those that I deemed most likely to succeed. In reality, I would've like to explore more concepts, outline the benefits of each, and work with a team to decide on one or two to take into testing.

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