A Melbourne-based app development agency is preparing to launch its latest product: ‘Out There’ – a dating app that subverts the world of online or app-based dating as we know it.
DreamWalk App Development agency have been developing the ‘Out There’ app to be a contemporary solution to all the most problematic aspects of modern dating, like taking matches at face-value, and a growing majority of interactions with potential dates never leaving your phone screen.
As the app’s primary focus is to encourage young people to meet in the real world, minimising the likelihood of their first interactions being confined to chat bubbles alone, co-founders Alexandra Cuthbert and Joe Russell of DreamWalk, hope that ‘Out There’ will play a prominent role in bringing new life to Australian cities following extensive COVID-19 lockdowns.
No more superficial swiping
The world of online or app-based dating has come with its fair share of novel challenges, with the proliferation of superficial, snap judgements being just the tip of the iceberg. A great majority of the dating apps that are front and centre in our day-to-day lives also tend to possess an over-reliance on direct messaging, and a startling lack of quality control when it comes to creating ‘matches’ themselves. As a result, many young people in the modern dating scene have come to experience ‘swiper’s fatigue’.
‘Out There’ co-founders Russell and Cuthbert, took a lens to the phenomenon of ‘swiper’s fatigue’ when mapping out their new dating app, to ensure that ‘Out There’ doesn’t fall victim to some of modern dating’s most prevalent pitfalls. The first thing that has to go, Russell and Cuthbert stated, was the swiping itself.
The current format of many dating apps encourages users to cycle through a startlingly high number of user profiles again and again and at a rapid-fire pace. With the ‘Out There’ dating app, however, your library of potential matches is all about quality over quantity, meaning that you can’t just take user profiles that you come across at face value. ‘Out There’s’ user interface encourages users to spend time engaging with the details of each user profile, either before or after meeting the user face-to-face!
Encouraging dates IRL, not on your phone screen
The opportunity to meet in person before you even explore another user’s profile is the main appeal of ‘Out There’ to millennials suffering from dating app burnout. ‘Out There’ works not by bombarding you with user profiles first, but by showing app users where they are most likely to meet like-minded people in their local area. Each location, or ‘Spot’, in your area is given a ranking out of 100, with a higher rating indicating that other app users in this area share a high compatibility rating with you.
With this knowledge in mind, ‘Out There’ users can travel to these locations with the intention of meeting these potential matches in the real world first rather than through a simplistic direct messaging bubble. The ability to engage in genuine conversation where potential partners can connect more readily over their shared interests from the get-go and gauge compatibility for themselves in real-world settings, allows ‘Out There’ to deliver a stronger user experience, both online as well as offline.
Compatibility ratings that actually mean something
DreamWalk App Development agency have been developing the ‘Out There’ app in partnership with a variety of expert voices, including dating coach Jess Matthews of The Boy Detox. Matthews developed a compatibility test that’s demonstrated accurate results, ensuring that users with a high compatibility rating are increasingly likely to have a high-quality ‘IRL’ date with minimal chances of experiencing prolonged, awkward silences.
The app’s compatibility rating takes a few key factors into account, including sexual orientation, education, personality traits and physical characteristics that users may find attractive, and even religious beliefs to ensure that high-ranking matches also hold a strong chance of maintaining their compatibility in the long-term. Matthews swears by a combination of practical and preferential considerations in the ‘Out There’ app’s compatibility questionnaire, acknowledging that there’s more to the perfect match than just physical compatibility alone.
Bringing the magic back to modern dating
Finally, the ‘Out There’ app is undoubtedly poised to deliver something that a growing majority of modern singles seek to no avail: the opportunity to meet their future life partner in the real world rather than through their phone screens. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many young people to feel significantly pessimistic about the likelihood of them meeting their soulmate in an organic context.
As ‘Out There’ is designed to guide people towards experiencing their very own ‘meet-cute’, modern couples can have a little more to their origin story than simply stating that they ‘met online’. Chief marketing officer and co-founder Alexandra Cuthbert shares this sentiment herself, reminiscing on “the old-fashioned way of dating” and “the excitement of someone approaching you in-person and being able to instantly gauge the chemistry between you”. With ‘Out There’, she’s hopeful that that excitement can return once more.
It’s evident even through the development and design of the ‘Out There’ app itself that there is definite room for improvement in the dating apps that we use today. Moving away from interacting with potential partners through DMs alone, and encouraging modern singles to get back ‘out there’ and embrace all the opportunities that they feel they’ve missed out on over these last few years of lengthy lockdowns, will likely be a superb start to the ongoing evolution of the modern dating scene.
The ‘Out There’ app will be available for free download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store in January 2022.