The Conception of the App
A New Way of Dating
To fulfil our project and materialize our critical approach we decided to use the application Invision and Adobe Photoshop CC to elaborate a touchable mock up available on smartphones. PLayAH App
As we went through the creation of the App “PlayAH” we realized that the theory of gamification was essential in this project. In fact, people opening “PlayAH” for the first time have to go through multiple steps.
To access the App the user has to connect through Facebook or give an email address in the way that the name and pictures are more likely to be genuine. The first page gives them the possibility to choose if they want to be a “PlayAH” – getting to know people in a dating aim – or just be Friendly and meet people when travelling for example. To affine the results of this LBRTD App we decided that the user could only choose what gender and age he is looking for.
The second step allows the user to choose between particular categories: Music, Art, Sports, Movies and Buzz were all chosen because they were for us the most wide sections to bring people together.
On each categories the user will access a quiz with 30 seconds to answer each question not only avoiding the researches on internet but moreover – because most of the questions are personal – to encourage spontaneity.
The only category that doesn’t rely on time is the “Buzz” section. Including a lot of various fields such as memes, jokes, videos the user can like or dislike it.
The final phase of the App is essential to our critical approach of the “cynic” through online identities. Indeed Erving Goffman (1959) highlights two states of mind when putting forward a representation of the self. One is ‘sincere’ because the representor has been as honest as possible. The other is a ‘cynic’, someone who realizes their representation is in some way flawed, dishonest or non-representational of who they are.
Starting from this point we decided to reduce the visibility of online identities in our app masking the pictures in a first instance. As Goffman says, first impressions are extremely important, and this is no different in the online sphere.
When a match is made between two people they will have to start a chat. But the people would not be able to see each others pictures, just the names and information about the person. To be able to see the picture of your match the user has to chat and the more they chat the more pictures he will be able to get.
Due to the importance of visual imagery on social networks and dating applications, there tends to be a reliance on visual presentations of the self, with less focus on interests or hobbies. Our argument is that the visually-motivated ‘cynic’ is persistent across social media platforms, particularly on LBRTDAs (Location-Based-Real-Time-Dating-Apps) such as Tinder.