Making new friends gets a lot harder as an adult. Surprisingly, despite the sea of dating and meetup apps, there wasn't a simple way to platonically meet cool people. I worked with the Thaw team to make finding people with similar interests as easy as possible. In addition to coming up with a fun, approachable design, this meant designing all of the little interactions and details to be as simple and intuitive as possible.


I lead the design effort, which included product research, wireframes, visual design, prototyping and front-end development




iOS & Android


Sketches & wireframes

The Thaw team knew what they wanted their app to do and they had a pretty good idea of how it should work, but they still needed guidance in determining what all of the different screens of the app should be, how they would fit together, and how the user would accomplish all of the things they needed to be able to do. I designed a complete set of wireframes that showed how the entire app would be laid out and how it would work.

Designing a visual language

I drew inspiration for a design language from vibrant and alive photographs and art pieces. In particular, I was drawn to the curves and gradients that made these pieces feel fun and approachable.

I found myself gravitating towards photos of people, especially photos of people out doing cool stuff. I also really liked images I found that incorporated hand lettering. I thought this added a cool human element that's lacking in a lot of "people-meeting" apps out there; ironic considering their intended goal.

Hand lettering added a human element that's ironically lacking in a lot of the "people-meeting" apps out there.

Drawing inspiration from this, I helped Thaw iterate on their brand. I liked the idea of using gradients to communicate a more lively feel, and also to represent the idea of a "thaw," going from blue to pink.

We tried a number of different approaches before, based on some surveys and user feedback, we settled on one that combined a hand-lettered, human feel with cool colors and a water drop to drive home the idea of "thaw."


Based on the wireframes and the visual design direction that I created, I began fleshing out the design for the remainder of the app. During the process we continued to get feedback from Thaw's users and iterate the design based on that feedback. The end result was something that Thaw, as well as its users, loved.


In order to differentiate Thaw and make sure first-time users had an experience that would keep them coming back, it was important to nail the small details. As one example, picking interests isn't always black and white. We wanted to give people a way to rate their interests on a scale, but that wouldn't detract from the ease-of-use of a simple left/right swipe. I came up with a solution that lets users long-press over an interest before sliding their finger up and down, which gives the user more granular control without taking any longer.

“After a bad experience with overseas contractors on a previous startup, I had the good fortune to work with Cooper on the early stages of Thaw and couldn't have been happier. With his help we were able to validate our idea and begin building the beta for our app, and he’s continued to be valuable asset to our team…

[Cooper] is communicative, efficient, and highly skilled. I’d recommend him without hesitation and I’m looking forward to working with him again in the future."
— Nate Rankin, founder of Thaw