Grey Bumble logo on yellow background.

Fostering authentic connections in a digital age with Bumble For Friends

Bumble's success was built on revolutionizing the dating app experience. But in today's increasingly isolated world, they recognized an opportunity to facilitate genuine connections beyond romance through their Bumble For Friends App.

Simply adapting the dating functionality wasn't enough - this called for an entirely new approach tailored to enabling real connections through shared interests and life experiences.

For the MVP, we focused on creating low-friction pathways that translated discovery of mutual interests into genuine 1:1 interactions. Features like thoughtful prompts facilitated the casual rapport-building that occurs when meeting new people organically.

The Bumble team is currently testing the MVP with a core set of users and plans to double down on the concept for expansion for a mass launch later this year.
what we did

Redefining a vision for online connection and authenticity

Developed initial MVP concepts focused on seamless pathways from onboarding profile creation to mutual interest discovery

Redesigned the core experience around three key pillars: 
Profile, Discovery, Connection

Ready Set Rocket
UX Designer
March 2021
Aaron Harvey, Michelle Unger, Danielle Steck, Daneille Menkins, Myung Bender, Sasha Grashin, Daisy Harding, Narelle Murphy, Silvia Valls Alarcon

Redefining a vision for online connection and authenticity

The existing BFF experience lacked the tailored tools and trusted environment for users to organically build platonic relationships. We needed to shift away from appearance-driven matching to replicate the dynamics of real-world friendship formation. Through user interviews and behavioral data provided by Bumble’s team, our team focused on enabling authentic self-expression, interest-based community discovery, and enriched communication. We began by deeply understanding the barriers like low awareness of BFF, user hesitancy surrounding online stigma, and the limitations of basic matching capabilities. We strategically created low-friction pathways that translated onboarding profile creation to mutual interest discovery.

Authentic self-expression, meaningful connections

User profiles were redesigned to allow richer self-expression beyond just photos through written bios, life badges, and longer form text prompts. This level of personalized context helps facilitate more meaningful connections.Our vision for profiles is to offer a dynamic space where members can authentically express themselves, their intention, connect with like-minded individuals, and seamlessly transition from online interactions to real-life experiences.

Interest based discovery, finding community

By centering the entire discovery experience around shared interests and dynamic community suggestions, BFF facilitates genuine connection in an entirely new way - mimicking how people naturally form bonds and relationships in the real world through common ground. We addressed the core user needs identified through user research and focused our efforts on the following:

Setting Up Interests

During onboarding, users have the ability to select and configure their interests, passions, hobbies and other context about themselves.

Discovering Connections

Based on the user's stated interests, BFF will dynamically surface community suggestions filled with others sharing those same interests, hobbies, life experiences, etc.

Exploring a Community

Once a user joins a community, they can freely explore components like discussion prompts,  active chat groups, upcoming events and more.

Enriched Communication

Within each interest-based community, dedicated spaces allow members to engage in free-flowing group chats structured around that specific theme or topic. Whether it's trading opinions, coordinating meetups, or just casual dialogue, these category-specific group chats make it easy for users to instantly connect with others passionate about the same subjects.