Design Lead

Scott Hamal

Nakul Garg

Travis Chambers


Online dating is tough. People message one another for too long virtually, making real meetups awkward




A dating app meant to be used in the moment, leveraging a message limit that encourages people to meet. 

Smolder was developed after a series of research trials, user tests, and critical analyses of one of today’s most popular dating applications: Tinder. Despite Tinder’s immense popularity - over one billion “swipes” per day - many users agree that it is still difficult to sustain a match. To understand this, we created a concept map that tried to understand people's interactions on the app. From this, we learned that people often come into it with clear intentions and expectations, but there are major breakdowns in the area of communication. Users focus on small talk, pick-up lines, and coordinating meetups instead of learning more about the other person. Because of this, actual meetups with the other person can be awkward and short-lived. This is because of the fact that there is never a reason for users to get off of the app and meet their matches. 

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Picture this: you’re at a concert having the time of your life. With great music and dancing and the good vibes emanating from everyone around you, what more could you want? What if that special someone was somewhere in that venue? If they were, how would you find them and connect?

Meet Smolder.


Smolder is a new approach to dating that helps users find potential matches among the crowds around them. Whether it be a high-energy concert, a riled-up hockey game, or an intimate nightclub, Smolder connects users with other people enjoying the same moment as them. How? Smolder shows you users at the same event as you. Check out their profiles, see some photos, and shoot them a few messages. There’s a catch, though: you can only exchange three messages each. After that, it’s up to you to seek them out and find them.

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Iteration 1: Displaying profiles by general proximity

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Iteration 2: Cloud-like display anonymizes proximity

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Iteration 1: Modeled after Tinder's method of profile-building

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Iteration 2: Puts additional images and chat enablement behind user-opted permissions.

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Upon opening the app, users indicate what they're doing and where they're doing it to find people doing the same thing. 

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Smolder finds other people around you who might match your interests. Tips tell you more about the people around you and what you might have in common with them.

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On their profiles, users can tell the people around them whatever they'd like. 

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Users can send each other three messages each. After that, the onus is on them to choose to move forward and meet in person, or call it a day.