Fighting the swipe and dark patterns of dating app design with Siren

Two weeks ago, the founders and content strategist of Siren came in to share some stories from their experience as women in the dating startup space, and how the Siren app allows users to engage with each other in a fun and sexy, troll-free, and completely human way which feels pretty different from some of its competitors.

Siren was a thesis. If we put it out there and society doesn’t want to use it, then that’s a comment on society itself.

When you create an online community, you’re setting the stage for who gets to be involved.

Online communities are like physical spaces.

“This is a party for people who are respectful of each other.” Those who don’t agree will just leave the party.

Founders and thinking preemptively about a company’s reputation.

Founders need to take a more proactive approach in thinking about the reputations of their own companies, as well as setting a community standard for their members. It always comes a little too late for the brand.

Scaling while maintaining core principles.

Startups talk about the hockey stick of growth, but we don’t really want that because you end up diluting the community and the interactions. If you grow slower and more intentionally, you preserve them.

The app is about permissions, letting people in: “you have permission to engage with me”.

Inviting flirtation, rather than getting it unsolicited.

We have a user who responded to the Siren daily question of “what is in your dream bedroom” mentioning a dungeon. Her answer gave whoever replied to her the permission to ask her about the dungeon.

Coding desire, and encouraging respectful interaction.

Men who don’t know how to appropriately code their desires, usually don’t have them received well. How do men express their desires in ways that aren’t forceful or creepy? We want to empower them to learn other methods.

Not displaying a photo upfront doesn’t mean you’re unattractive.

Using a blurry photo as an empowerment tool helps to get people who aren’t used to dating apps over some hurdles.

Programming is always going to be binary but we’re trying to figure out what questions to ask.

What does it mean to sort people by gender and sexual biology anyway?

Dating doesn’t always mean procreation and if cis people were more in touch with themselves (maybe thereby reducing phobias) then they could be more open in who they date.


TRYTOBEGOOD is an iTunes podcast!

Subscribe on iTunes and appreciate on your commute or during your contemplative strolls.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.