This post insults the intelligence of your audience, including some who are your paying customers. Forcing real name usage isn’t about whether you enjoy people’s choice of usernames. It’s a business decision that a marketing person believes will justify the inevitable attrition because “Hey look Tinder does it and Facebook does it so let’s just give it a shot! Agile dev, amirite?” I’m willing to bet that several people involved in this decision trampled all over the feedback from their own employees, didn’t feel it was necessary to devote budget to speaking with many of their actual customers or reading any past research, etc. Bonus points if the person who wrote this post was also holding their nose and cringing but will get blamed anyway.
I’m a usability researcher who has been a member of OKC for over a decade. I’ve commented multiple times over the years that much as I appreciated your interesting data science, a data-focused approach to user experience misses half the picture. Data tells you much about what people do but that doesn’t tell you why.
However, no one needs a degree to read any of the years of existing peer-reviewed scientific research about the different situations in which people are comfortable using real names online vs situations in which they are not. Spend 5 minutes on google scholar.
The billions of dollars that companies waste on alienating their userbase boggles the mind. If you’re an original OkCupid employee reading this, please gather your colleagues and jump ship and make a new app/site. Consider what happened to Flickr, Dodgeball/Foursquare, Delicious, and so many other initially innovative tools that stalled and died and/or are having a near-death experience post-buyout. You don’t need funding at the expense of your soul. You are talented enough that you don’t NEED to perform corporate tasks required by privileged people who’ve had zero firsthand experience with rape, domestic violence, doxxing, bullying, etc etc… not to mention many other horrible things that no human should ever endure.
We will Kickstarter you ourselves so you can get back to doing meaningful work that potentially improves people’s lives.