© 2019 by Manasee Narvilkar


User study design | Experience maps | Interaction design

for understanding arranged marriages in India


UX Research and UX Design for the 2016 ground-up redesign of India's largest matrimonial service, Shaadi.com.

I worked in collaboration with the Product, Marketing and Visual Design leads to map experiences of existing users of Shaadi.com outside of the 


Strategy : Market analysis, Benchmarking, Touch point analysis, Distilling design brief, Designing the study

User Research and analysis : Recruitment, Interviews, User segmentation, Journey Mapping, Personas

Design: Storyboarding, Documentation, Communication Design, Rapid prototyping, Concepting and creating pitches.


April 2015 - November 2015


Product team, Marketing Team


Pen & paper, MS Office, Balsamiq, Adobe Creative Suite, Invision


Arranged marriages are still a deeply rooted phenomenon in  Indian culture. Traditionally, marriage was considered to be a union of two families rather than two individuals, so factors like religion, caste, economic and social status, family values etc., played an important part in determining alliances. However, with an emerging new urban Indian class seeking to assert their personal choice, that believes in finding their own partner, factors like compatibility, common interests, education and personal values take a precedence. This meant that Shaadi.com needed a brand overhaul from being a mere 'matrimonial site' for parents to use to a 'matchmaking site' aimed at people who wanted to look for their own partners.


What makes this even more interesting, is that often these two types of users use the platform in parallel. Who then are the primary users of the platform - the parents looking to set their son/daughter with a suitable match, or the young men and women looking for their ideal life-partner?

Research Focus

Understanding holistic experiences of Match Seekers

What happens before a user starts using Shaadi.com?

What happens once a user takes their 'match' offline?

Distill holistic user experiences, both online and offline, around Shaadi.com

Achieve actionable insights from the experience maps created for all the service offered for Shaadi.com

Research the needs and priorities of match seekers. Segment them based (persona building) based on in-person & phone interviews, data analysis and user testing. Understand how different experiences shape their behavior.


The outcome of the research would be an experience map – a diagram that combines personas with an abstracted story about match seeker’s journey from awareness, discovering matches, to closure.



Map the journey of match seekers (multiple personas) vis-à-vis







Through different phases with tangible recommendations on touch points that are missing or needs to be improved and how they could be improved.


My task was to bring about a story connecting the entire journey of a user to their performance stats. The qualitative aspect of the UX (including measuring it) Not just what happens before and after wedding. From Shaadi.com’s perspective, they know the end-to-end flow of their service on account of numerous usability studies. But there is no knowledge about what happens before joining Shaadi.com and what follows after finding a match, once the customer takes the match off-site. They feel that understanding the missing link could be key to making Shaadi.com be one of the first matrimonial services to go beyond matchmaking, thus creating a niche positioning for themselves in the market.

Lessons learnt