Pretend Product: Dating Apps, Remixed

Pretend Product is a series of musings on a product that should exist in the world or improvements I’d offer to an already existing product


There was some controversy with Tinder presenting only people it thought was in your league. Limbo uses that sort of algorithm so you initially start with being presented the “best” matches when you first join. However, the bar for your matches keeps getting lower the longer you stay on the app.


No pictures. No names. Only after you swipe right on their responses to personality and values questions are you presented with their photos. Choose wisely and don’t swipe right on every profile just out of curiosity; unmatching too many people after viewing their photos will get a 24-hour hold placed on your swiping.


For the people who go on apps because they’re bored. Westworld is an app entirely of profiles of people that don’t exist. Conversations driven by bots and pictures generated by machines. It uses machine learning of your swipes to incrementally create the ‘perfect’ person and learns how you like to be talked to in order to become your perfect good morning text buddy.


For the longer term seekers. Otter gives you batches of matches of people that express their attachment style and love language — gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, touch, and acts of service — in a way that is compatible with yours.


For the hookup hunters. Wishbone presents you matches with whom you have compatible romance style and kinks.


After a barrage of questions and exercises, Pillar matches people who share similar life values and communication style. Values from small things such as who should message first all the way up to what kind of lifestyle you want for yourself in marriage.

I admit, many of these have ethical implications that make them not viable for various reasons. Nonetheless, it was interesting to try and remix the dating app experience.

Written by

Product manager | Leading with empathy.

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