AA: You’re right, I’ve been thinking of redesigning Badoo for a while now
Andrey Andreev: The new Badoo that you can see today is just a skeleton for a whole load of amazing, game-changing features that are coming live very soon. Now we have the opportunity to implement them.
Everything is new! We have completely rebuilt the app, created a new design identity for the brand, and analysed and reconsidered 11 years of experience in order to improve and optimise UX and simplify overcomplicated features.
BI: My impression of Badoo has been that an overhaul like this has been due for a while. Why launch the new version now?
Andreev talked about his app’s redesign, as well as his thoughts on an IPO, how his partnerships work, Bumble, and why he doesn’t like publicity
For years it started to remind (as we call it internally) us of a ‘Frankenstein’. This happens with every product eventually. As you add features, monetise or simply try to improve user experience by adding new fun components, it eventually becomes like a little Christmas tree with lots of buttons, menus within menus, and multiple confusing screens etc.
The old interface was limiting us in so many ways and even though we had tweaked and improved it many times, it got to the point where I admitted that we can no longer build up new features upon an old interface.
It was a long thinking process and after numerous brainstorming sessions and with the help of the Badoo team, I realised which direction we needed to move towards.
AA: Badoo has more than 340 million users who have naturally become used to a certain interface. Before changing anything in the app we always test. AB tests have proven multiple times that even a slight change in, say, position of the button, can result in decrease of activity or revenue. Yep, that’s the real life of monetised products.
So in answering your question, yes, we were resistant. That was the other reason why it took so long to redesign it. We just needed to make sure we didn’t lose any important features by making the new design way too intuitive.
BI: One thing that you’ve mentioned in the past has been seeing Badoo as more of a social network than a dating app. How do you make that distinction clear?
AA: Badoo has a long history and we know what our users want. Yes of course it’s predominately a dating app. But dating for many people is flirting, chatting and simply browsing. There used to be a perception that dating apps equalled sex. But like real life, say, in a bar. You don’t just approach every single person in the bar and arrange a date. Sometimes you just come, have a few drinks, chat and leave and nothing happens. Sometimes you make friends. You can’t just remove social aspect from dating as that would be a bit boring.
Badoo definitely helps you to explore the world outside of your existing circle of friends and that’s another reason why it’s social.
BI: Something that Badoo does that’s relatively unusual in dating and tech is to use lots of different brands and apps. What’s the thinking behind that?
AA: We work with all these companies on a partnership basis. Badoo is a very strong platform that allows us to provide technology to multiple products at once. It’s like a Lego game – we start every partnership by building a product from the sources we already have and then we add bespoke bits that are necessary.