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Designing An Online Dating Service Information Technology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 4134 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Valentinos has been a very successful dating service since 1976 as it provides a round the clock assistance to their clients. The company allows the client to request as many introductions as they can and also facilitate the modification of the information as many times as the member wants to free of charge. The agency is very popular because it not only provides better customer care but also effective matching with largest number of members.


Time consuming in terms of matching from database

Lack of investment in technology

No provision of online matching as the website is information only

The technology used for maintaining the database and language used for writing the code are very old

The system is poorly documented

Valentinos is losing its profitability as the services it provides are old fashioned and consume a lot of time. The process of match making is done offline which delays the service. The technology used in the system is also a decade older which the new staff finds difficult to use and maintain.


Make use of new and improved technology

Provide online matching of compatible clients

Bring innovation to their marketing strategy by advertising online

Including winks, flirts and various emotions along with messages

Valentinos can make best use of the recent advancements in the technology so that they can attract more clients and serve the existing clients in a better way. They can advertise on the internet on different websites along with newspapers and public transports due to the increase usage of internet over the past few years.


Different agencies providing better and advanced interactive interfaces

Some agencies providing registration free of cost

Changing government laws on accessing personal information

Due to the competition from various new dating agencies which provide more and more interactive services using of the new technologies at hand, Valentinos is losing its market share. Changes made in the government policies in the past decade also contribute to the loss in the profitability of the organization.



Objectives Measures Targets

Increase the revenue from membership

Application processed per day

Increase the application processed per day by 15% in next 1 year

Reduce advertisement cost

More online advertisements

Reduce the advertisement cost by 20% within next 6 months

Reduce manpower cost

Number of queries handled per employee

Reduce the cost of manpower by 5% in next one year


Objectives Measures Targets

Increase response time

Time taken to process an application

Response time should be within 24 hours

Decrease registration fee

cost for


Registration fee should be reduced to 125 pounds

More matches per list

List of compatible members

Compatibility list should have 10 person/ list


Objectives Measures Targets

Increase manpower utilization

No. of applications processed/ employee

Increase the No. of applications processed/ employee by 10%

Speed up the process of displaying member’s details

Time taken to display member’s information

Member’s information should be displayed within 24

Provision of online matching

No. of matches per application

Increase no. of matches per application by 15%


Objectives Measures Targets

Market survey

To make use of the new technology at a faster pace

Quarterly progress

Interactive environment of the website

Use of more winks and emotions with better look and feel of website

Include new features in the website within 2 months


For all the people in U.K. who are single and in search for their special someone, Valentinos- “the personal introductions agency” is an online matchmaking agency that will help them to find the companion they are looking for. The agency allows the users to create a profile on its website to search for their suitable partners without the need to display much of their personal information. The information held is fully confidential, secure and assisted by trained personnel of the company 24*7. The system will increase the revenue of the agency by 20% in the first year of its use. Unlike the current offline matching system our new system will provide the customers with the option of online dating allowing them to find their partners in no time. The customers will be able to interact with their partners effectively and a lot of time will be saved in finding the right match.

Scope Diagram

Help Desk




Maintains Member profiles

Output Result




Compatible Profiles

Customer Assistance



MatchmakingOut of scope:

Marketing Techniques

Advancement in technology used

Market survey


Cost of development of online matchmaking system – The cost that will be involved in creating the software for matching profiles online.

Cost of software updation – As the software is very old it needs to be updated so it covers the cost involved in any updation of the website.

Hardware installation cost – This include the cost of setting up of new servers to handle the increased traffic of member and also of the new systems to be set up having advanced technologies.

Staff training cost – It covers the cost involved in arranging seminars and sessions for the employees to train them so that they can provide efficient service.

Software maintenance – The cost involved in maintain the software i.e. various updates needed and instalment of new versions of it.

Cost of customer Assistance – It covers the cost of providing assistance to the clients i.e. setting up of various telephone lines and hiring new people to provide assistance.


Increased revenue from membership fee – There will be an increase in revenue as with new services there will be increase in demand for the membership of the agency.

Better throughput – The profiles of the clients will be made available in less time thus the process of adding members will increase.

Increased customer satisfaction – As the services provided will be faster and more proficient the customers will be satisfied to a greater extent.

Fast profile matching – With online profile matching the compatible list can be generated in very less amount of time thus speeding up the process of dating.

Fewer Complaints – With the matches been made available in less time there would be fewer problems in related to the delivery of matches and hence the complaints from the clients will also decrease.

Increased reliability – The dating system will be more reliable as the matches are made online which will result in the decrease in human errors and the success of delivery of results will increase.

Functional requirements


Creating user profiles

Managing user profiles


Priority: Medium

Profile matching

2.1 Search the members’ database

2.2 Match the compatible profiles

2.3 Display the matching profiles

Priority: High

Managing Staff

3.1 Employees responsible for the development

3.2 Employees maintaining database

3.3 Customer assistance staff

Priority: Medium

Customer support

4.1 Helping with the membership form

4.2 Providing counselling

4.3 Listening to and providing solutions to customer complaints

Priority: High

Online dating

5.1 Provide online compatibility matching

5.2 Speed dating

Priority: High


6.1 Make payments for the membership and new introductions

6.2 Record payments

6.3 Printing statements of the payments made

6.4 Accept membership fee

Priority: High

Editing user profiles

7.1 Modification to user records by the user any number of times

7.2 Deletion of personal profile

Priority: Low

Maintaining database

8.1 Creating a database containing user information

8.2 Updating the database

8.3 Deleting the profiles from the database who do not want to be a member anymore

Priority: Medium


9.1 Increase in online advertisements

9.2 Better graphical advertisements

Priority: Low

Non-functional requirements

Software Quality Attributes

Availability-1: The system should be available to the users any time of the day so that they can use it

according to their ease.

Reliability-1: The capacity of the system should also be planned so that it can handle any amount of

user traffic anytime and should not slow down when lot of users are accessing the

service at the same time.

Performance Requirements

PE-1: Response time for answering the general query of the user should not be more than 10


PE-2: At least 10 matches should be displayed while providing the matching list to the user.

PE-3: The members’ profiles should be made available on the website in no more than one day.

PE-4: The compatibility list should be handed over to the member within a day.

Security Requirement

SE-1: The transactions made online through credit cards should be totally secure so that no theft

takes place.

SE-2: Members should be asked for verification username and password so that only authorized

users can access the service.

SE-3: Ensure that only authorized users can modify the account details and personal information

of their own profiles.

Legislative Requirements

LE-1: The system should comply with rules and regulations of the Data Protection Act.

LE-2: Personal information provided by the users should be kept confidential i.e. should not be

shared with any other entity without the prior permission of the person.

Product Requirements

PR-1: The software used for providing the service should be easy to upgrade.

PR-2: The system should be able to work with all the standard applications.

PR-3: The maintaining of the database should not be outsourced to a third party. Employees

should be hired to maintain it within the organization.

Detailed description of functional requirements

Source: Planning

Priority: High

Owner: Planning Manager

Requirement Id: 4.0

Functional requirement: Customer Support

To be able to provide counselling to all the users who need one and answer to the complaints of members.

Non-functional requirement(s)


Target Value

Acceptable Range


Response time

1 day

5 days

Analysing the complaint and looking for solution

Service hours

24 hours a day


Will enable the agency to improvise the services they offer by finding solutions to the customer complaints.

Comments/suggested solutions

The user can also provide feedback.

Related Documents

Related requirements


Source: Planning

Priority: High

Owner: Planning Manager

Requirement Id: 5.0

Functional requirement: Online Dating

To be able to match the compatible profiles online and displaying the results to the user.

Non-functional requirement(s)


Target Value

Acceptable Range


Response time

1 hour

2-3 hours

Searching the large database


Will enable the user to find his/her compatible profiles list in a very quick time.

Comments/suggested solutions

Instant display of compatible profiles.

Related Documents

Related requirements

2.0 Profile Matching


(Goodland, 2010)

Use Case Model For Valentinos (created using StarUML)Detailed description of a single Use Case

Use Case 6.1

Make Payment

Goal in Context

New user deposits the registration fee to use the services of the agency and existing user deposits the charge for getting new introductions

Scope & Level

Online Dating System, User goal


System available, Finance manager available

Success End Condition

Payment made successfully, Registration fee paid, receipt of the payment handed to user

Failed End Condition

Payment not successful, receipt not accepted

Primary, Secondary Actors


Finance Manager,

Credit Card Company,



Request for Introductions





Client is asked to make the payment to get the introductions.


Client enters his/her account details


Makes the required payment


Finance Manager records the payment made


Finance Manager generates a receipt


Client prints the receipt



Branching Action


If the client is the first time customer:

1a1. Asked to register first

1a2. Deposits the membership fee also


If the client enters the wrong password:

2a1. Give him few more chances to enter the right


2a2. Allow the client to change the password if he

does not get it right.


If the client is using the system for the first time:

4a1. Create a new account for him.



Branching Action


Client may pay through

Credit card,

Demand draft,

Pay pal

Related information

Make Payments




5 minutes for the payment, 1 minute to handover the receipt



Channels to actors


Open issues

Due Date

…any other management information…

Included in


(Goodland, 2010)

Assumptions made while modelling use case diagram

Client can also provide a feedback in the form of complaints if he is dissatisfied with the services or the agency or if he wants to recommend any changes to the service.

Administrator will maintain the information supplied by the client. He will also maintain the history of every client i.e. the introductions offered to the client. Administrator will hold the details of all the employees of the company.

Customer service providers will not only provide solutions to the queries of the clients but also will be responsible for handling the complaints if any made by the client.

Finance manager will be responsible for recording all the payments made by the clients so that the information can be used by the credit card company. He will also be required to produce statements of all the payments made by the client.

Developer will have to run the match list to find compatible profiles and also manage the user traffic on the company’s website.

Areas Requiring Further Definition

The use case “Make Payments” can further be expanded by including the different ways by which user can pay i.e. the user can either pay by credit card, a demand draft or even through services such as pay pal.

The use case “view online matches” can be viewed in further detail by adding various features of online dating like chatting, winking, emotions etc.

Rich Picture for Valentinos

Reduced cost of offline matching

Why cannot i have more than 6 matches

Provide faster matches earn more money

Will it be secure from hackers?

This system will help us compete with new agencies

Now I can see matches instantly


Online matchmaking service


More work and new technology

Maintain client records and their history

Manage the traffic and run the match list for users

Design the new system with latest technology

Make the site more interactive

Less queries about delivery success

Decrease in number of complaints


Customer AssistanceC:UsersDeepankerAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5P2TU6YUZMC900055561[1].wmfC:UsersDeepankerAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5XUXPG77LMC900332528[1].wmf

wow a faster and a convenient dating service


C:UsersDeepankerAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5XUXPG77LMC900410797[1].wmf


Is the company following the Data Protection Law C:UsersDeepankerAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE56NVVFFGMC900150005[1].wmf

C:UsersDeepankerAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5P2TU6YUZMM900365263[1].gif


More chances of getting caught

Solve the problems of customers

Various Stakeholders

Primary stakeholders – Client, Shareholders, Developer

Secondary Stakeholders – Administrator, Finance manager, Customer assistance staff, Hackers

Key Stakeholders – Client, Shareholders

Stakeholders Attitudes

Clients that are already using the dating service might not be comfortable with the new system at first. But as they get used to it they will find the new features of the system easy and better to use.

The Shareholders at first might fear that the investment for the new system will not be worth the money and the effort. They have to be convinced that it is for the better as the services provided will be enhanced with greater customer satisfaction resulting to increased revenue.

The employees may also find it hard to operate the new system as they are used to working with the older one for many years. There should be proper training provided to all the employees on the new system so that they can handle the new system efficiently.

The development team may also find it a cumbersome job to create a new system and integrating it with the existing one.

There will be an increased amount of work for the customer assistance department in the beginning when the new system is implemented. The lines might be flooded with assistance so they may demand an increase in pay or else new employees have to be recruited.

Change Management

The development team might not be very proficient or they may be wasting a lot of time in developing the new system. The project may be delayed and wasting a lot of money of the company. The senior managers might have to provide a warning of execution to the present team. If the development process still does not takes the required pace new development team has to be hired.

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During the developmental stage there might be a change in technology in demand which is cheaper and provides better functionality. Developers will be interested in that but the investors who have already invested in the existing technology will be reluctant. Both the teams have to agree on one common solution for the project to continue. If the new investment in the technology yields a profit on the combined total investment then the management gives a go ahead for investment in the new technology.

Possible Developmental Approaches

Scenario 1: Development by an external contractor who will specify the system and

have it programmed by their sister company

Select user story for release Suitable development approach would be Extreme Programming (XP). XP is chosen as it is an agile development technique which helps in developing a more effective product. A the programming is outsourced to the sister company it will be convenient for the contractor to follow this approach as the development can be done with only one customer n only 3 weeks of time. The process of development involves informal story narration of requirements between a customer and developer which can be easily understood. The programming is done by the programmers in pair. There is daily interaction with the customer so if he feels that the system has reached the desired level further work may be prevented. (Source: Cockburn A., 2008)

Stories broken down into tasks

Release planning

Develop/ test software

Software release

System evaluation

Extreme Programming Release Cycle (Sommerville, 2007)


Cost saving in development as the development team consists of 3-10 members only.

Development can be done with one customer also in a single room.

The process of development is done in interactions over a period of 3 weeks.

Each iteration provides the code that is tested and running.

The customers as well as the programmers can reprioritize the tasks over time.

Pair programming is followed.

The delay of finding the solution is less.

Rapid feedback.

The design is simple.

(Cockburn, 2008)


The requirements are not documented.

To proceed with development discussion is needed between developer and customer after every iteration.

Optimization of code is left for the end.

No overtime.

(Goodland, 2010)

Risks Involved

There might arise a conflict between the two programmers and they may not be able to reach to a common conclusion. Hence the development can be delayed or even not be able to proceed. In such a case a new team has to set up and the work has to be done all over again.

If there is a sudden change in the development team, new employees will find it hard to understand the progress of the work as the requirements are not documented anywhere.

(Cockburn, 2008)

Scenario 2: Purchase of rival agency and customisation of their software

The development lifecycle suitable for such a scenario will be Incremental Model because the software is already present with the rival agency. The development team of Valentinos only need to structure some components and provide extra functionality to it according to their ease. It is an iterative model for the waterfall lifecycle approach i.e. each iteration follows the waterfall model and the iterations are done till the desired functionality of the end product is reached.

(Ruparelia, 2010)

Design system architecture

Assign increments to requirements

Define requirements

Final system

Validate system

Integrate increment

Validate increment

Develop system increment

System Incomplete

Incremental Model Cycle (Goodland, 2010)


The functionality of the software is made available quickly and in the early stages.

Previous iterations provide feedback to the new ones.

While the iterations are smaller testing and debussing is an easier job.

Stakeholders’ view can also be incorporated throughout the development cycle.

Risk of failure of the project is very low.

Potential issues with the development can be found out easily and can be resolved.

(Ruparelia, 2010)


The individual iterations done are not flexible and they do not overlap with one another.

All the requirements for the system life cycle are not clearly framed out during the initial iterations which may lead to problems.

(Source: http://qastation.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/software-development-life-cycle-part-5/ )


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