6 Factors That Prevent You From Meeting Your Soul Mate

chickendatingThe essence of successful dating is much like the onboarding process that is engrained in any company philosophy. Just as proactively welcoming new employees and catering to their needs is essential to fostering a positive and successful company environment, dating requires two people to cater to each other’s needs as well, ensuring that they and their date are confident in their environment. An environment, however, that portrays a negative light, promotes superficiality, inflated egos, and dishonesty, does a disservice to daters. Online dating websites – one of the most popular online industries today – are in a sensitive spot, which requires the minds behind these sites to truly understand what characteristics and elements are crucial to cultivate a positive and rewarding dating experience.

Everyone, after all, wants to find that special somebody. While more traditional ways of meeting people have discouraged and broken the hearts of many, online dating sites seem to be the ideal solution to which daters have resorted in order to find that special someone.  However, try as you might to find love through one dating site or another. You will unfortunately find yourself farther from your soul mate. Why is this, you might ask? Several reasons factor into why such dating sites are doing the opposite of the intended service. Many times, it boils down to the site’s overall user experience. Here is a look at the weaknesses of dating sites and how to alleviate these issues.

#1 Poor Design

Online dating sites need to be exceptionally inviting, appealing, and organized. This is especially true for first timers, since good first impressions of the website are an essential element to nurturing positive feelings. Similar to the first impression of a potential suitor, daters might be turned off if they find the user interface unattractive. Therefore, appearance is crucial. The site needs to be easy to navigate and cannot be overwhelming. It’s hard enough for someone who is eager to find true love to stir up the bravery to sign up for a service that, in their eyes, might seem risky for their heart. When designed correctly with the user in mind, one will come away with a hopeful feeling, trust, and with the intention of returning to the site. If designed poorly, crowding too many elements on the page, confusing and overbearing the user, one will simply close the page and look for something better. Some may even give up on the online dating industry entirely.

#2 Too Many Questions!

The first step required of a new user on most dating sites is creating a user profile, which includes a picture and personal information. In order to help gather the necessary details, a questionnaire is generally provided. Here is where the problems begin. Some of these question lists can have as many as 250 questions, if not more! It doesn’t get much more overwhelming than that. In general, the questionnaires of such sites are themselves questionable. In many cases, these questions do not correlate to successful personality pairing. However, since asking questions is still one of the only effective ways of learning about one’s personality and background, it should be kept as concise and efficient as possible.

#3 Misleading Profiles

Online dating sites tend to lose the interest of potential users because several users stumble upon false and dishonest profiles. Whether someone posts an old picture, a picture of someone else, or provides outdated or untrue personal information, somebody is likely to get hurt, reducing the chances of users returning to the site. People tend to protect themselves from these sites, rather than having to face the vulnerability of emotional pain. Although there is no full-proof way of ensuring that a user is being truthful, there are methods of banning those who have proven to be dishonest. A complaint system can be created, and endorsements can be used. Again, it is also difficult to vouch for someone, but if there is a substantial amount of endorsements on one’s profile that seem believable, it may be a little more reassuring than believing someone’s “too good to be true” profile.

#4 Lack of Correlation Between Matches

There are several ways to find a suitable match on various online dating sites. One way is looking around, which can be quite time consuming, and messaging or “winking” at people whose pictures seem attractive or whose bios are interesting. Another way is by submitting a form with all of your information and interests through a question and answer format. You are then paired with “appropriate” matches. Since a computer is the one running the show, the matches are usually lousy. It only takes one bad match, conversation, or date to keep one far away from that site. Therefore, the questions asked need to be as specific as possible, and the matches that are chosen need to be as relevant as possible. Quality needs to take precedence over quantity here. Supply fewer, but better matches, even if there is only a couple. This is one aspect that makes having a positive user experience on a dating site very difficult. Talk about knowing you users’ needs, eh?

#5 Lack of Feedback

We’ve already mentioned how it is challenging to determine whether one is being honest and the matches one is provided with are not always anything to write home about. One reason people are being held back from finding their soul mate is that no one is being honest with them. If one chooses an unattractive profile picture, he or she needs to be told this in a subtle but truthful manner. Otherwise, weeks, months, and years will go by without this user ever knowing the reason. Supportive feedback is necessary in order for users to make the most out of their profiles. Without being dishonest, one should know what to include and not include in their bio, and what type of picture to display.

#6 Too Many “Hunters” and Not Enough “Hunted”

The whole term “online dating” is a little misleading. After all, no one is really doing any dating online. What these sites are really about is providing individuals with opportunities to meet someone through the use of an informative database. One way people go about meeting each other on such sites is by seeking out individuals they would be interested in pursuing a relationship. This is done first and foremost by browsing through photos, then by finding out further personal information, and finally by trying to figure out if the personalities would be compatible. This all needs to happen before anyone can be messaged and of course taken out on a real date. The problem is that there are plenty of people seeking out those highly attractive “catches” and not enough “catches.” In other words, there is no shortage of “hunters” but there is a lack of the “hunted.” After many attempts contacting these “hunted” without receiving any responses, many will simply give up. There really isn’t any efficient way of solving this issue, but a UX team can address the phenomenon by changing the way people browse profiles and perhaps by providing helpful tutorials and guidelines that direct individuals to more suitable options.

There you have it; six reasons why you aren’t meeting your soul mate on online dating sites as a result of the user experience. Some of these problems have easy solutions, and others may require a little brainstorming.  Either way, the idea is to get rid of the distractions and include as many helpful tools as possible. The website should have the feel of a site that people are comfortable with such as Facebook, and should incorporate calls to actions through buttons or tools like WalkMe. This will ease users in getting a profile setup and navigating to the most important features of the dating site. Once these problems have been tackled, many more lonely hearts will be on the way to finding their true soul mates. 

Danielle Arad

Danielle Arad is Director of Marketing and User Experience Specialist of WalkMe.com, the world's first interactive website guidance system. She is also chief writer and editor of UX Motel, a blog for user experience experts. Follow her @uxmotel.

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