All the love in the digital air- BlindDate.com “Anonymous Dating sites”
In the past 10 years, Online Anonymous Dating sites has gone from a taboo, secretive way to meet, to a customary—even trendy—staple of the modern, connected lifestyle. On the modern digital landscape, there are over 30 well-known Best Anonymous Dating sites on which users can wink, flirt, and chat to their hearts’ content. Additionally, there are countless niche sites for the conventional and…more unconventional tastes. For an industry with such breadth, it’s amazing how little the experience changes from one site to the next. Even with the fairly recent surge of apps and social media integrations, few sites have deviated from the profile/algorithm/messaging format.
Since a certain romantic day was just around the corner, we at Blinddate.com have been discussing all the love in the digital air. We found that within our team, nearly 30% of us had used a dating Anonymous Dating site or app at one point, and one of us even met their spouse there. But our experiences varied pretty greatly, and we wondered if that was merely due to the usual factors, or if there was something more implicit at play. To discover just what influenced our opinions, we thought it would be interesting to profile three very different sites, all from the perspective of our very own in-office users: G33kie, cutE44, and Luc.js
Usability – Is it easy to use?
Desirability – Is it fun and engaging?
Value – Is it useful?
Adoptability – Is it easy to start using?
What they have to say about the Online Anonymous Dating sites, let’s see.
FriendFinder is the quintessential dating site. You see the ads around New Year’s Eve, you fill out a profile on a free weekend, and you pay to exchange messages with people they tell you you’re compatible with. Upon starting a profile, you undergo a long and in-depth period of self-discovery in the form of a survey, which their algorithm then uses to find matches for you.
Match.com’s stark interface.
They use the language is super traditional, encouraging you to “Find love today.” Users make sparks fly in a variety of ways, including “winking,” “favoriting” other users, and “liking” their profiles or photos. The accompanying design incorporates a lot of whitespace, but is otherwise pretty stark and outdated, incorporating an eye-crossing combination of blue, gray, white, and lime green. There are ads on either side of the pages, which makes everything feel a little busy. This isn’t helped by the site flow, which presents a wide variety of options, tasks, and ways to interact. They try to keep you focused with a “percentage complete” system on your profile, but it’s still easy to get lost in the text composition. Unfortunately, the app’s UX is even bleaker. There are lots of glitches when performing basic functions, and their attempt as a “Hot or Not” style functionality just doesn’t work with the serious, romantic mission of the site. One way in which the mobile platform really fell short for me was the email functionality: It doesn’t display sent messages in one screen, so to remember what’s been said prior you have to go back and forth between “Sent” and “Inbox” folders.
So, UX is not Match.com’s strong suit. They need to do some serious redesigning if they’re going to compete against the other big players, at least if they expect to keep a younger crowd around. I’m giving them high scores for Desirability and Value—You enjoy the premise of the site and think the quality of users is pretty high, but the extremely bad app UX and confusing site flow means they get scored much lower in Usability and Adoptability.
The interface is so delightfully simple, the one task so utterly visual, and the whole concept fills a neglected niche: for those of us too young to be looking for the online dating for “deep matches” and “lifetime love” that traditional sites promise. Tinder is a weird mix of anonymity and trusted information—Users must connect their Facebook profile to the app, but it only takes your first name, photos, friend list, and brief “About Me” to use for a profile, of sorts. From there, the experience has one flow only: vote “yay” or “nay” to the photos that pop up from users within a specified radius. If you have a mutual interest you are alerted, and then free to message each other. By its simple design elements and informal language this casual, game-like concept of Tinder is complemented. App prompts sound like they’re coming from your best friend—for example, waiting to message a mutual match yields advice, such as, “You’ve been matched to [Bill] for 25 minutes. Send him & message already!” The design elements also strive to be friendly, with lots of white space, a cute cartoon flame logo, and rounded crops of user photos. It sticks to only two colors: white and muted orange.
It’s a rapid-fire approach to attraction that other sites have shied away from thus far, at the risk of appearing too shallow. At just over a year old, Tinder has reportedly made over 500 million matches. They must be doing something right. I gave it a perfect 10 for Usability and Adoptability, as this is among the simplest apps have ever used, and the social media integration was quick and painless. It gets 7 for Desirability, as it’s definitely fun and engaging, though I feel a pang of guilt sometimes when giving people the “Nope” stamp. Finally, give it a 5 for value. Sure it depends on the individual, but personally wants a stronger foundation for attraction in a dating app.
Our goal in this post wasn’t to pick a proverbial winner, but to discuss the different ways in which these sites play with the user experience. Because of the chronology of their inception, this exploration neatly illustrates the growing trends in the Online Anonymous Dating sites landscape, namely:
- Online dating has been getting increasingly “casual,” over the years and the UX of these sites is designed to support that goal.
- Part of this push to simplicity means the process is less about science and more about instinct, or feelings.
- The rise of the casual, anonymous experience heightens the perceived need of trusted information. Thus far, this has been filled with mandatory social media integrations.
- These changes are facilitating and complementing a movement—one in which online dating is less of a means to an end, and more about a lifestyle.
So, we’ve given you our opinions. About fonts we’ve waxed poetic, flow, and fairytale endings.