Eye on the details

For many years, I worked in quality assurance (QA) for various software and video game companies. I kinda did this side-by-side with helping people find love online, but my day jobs were always in some sort of testing. And I love testing! I’m fluent in several languages, so I’m able to spot issues like inconsistent translations for, say, a certain sword you’re supposed to receive as a quest reward at level 20. And I’m great at being a picky advocate for things like character support across all e-reader devices, or properly recognizing regional forms of verb conjugations. Lots of picky little stuff, ya know?

One reason I love working in software testing is that I really believe all those tiny details matter. They add up; they affect your overall impression of a game, an app, a program, a website, a book, an operating system. When there are little typos or the accent marks don’t face the right direction or things are slow and laggy or the characters aren’t properly kerned in the logo, well, some people notice. And the sorts of people who notice get really bothered by that stuff, and they tend to notice a LOT of those problems. And I’m one of them.

An XKCD.com comic about kerning.

I realize not everybody thinks like this, haha. I think some of this detail-minded pickiness is learned, and some of it is innate to one’s personality. But it pays to cater to the pickier end of the spectrum, in pretty much everything you do! I really believe that. That’s why it stresses me out so much when I catch a typo in one of my blog posts, or when I make some technical tweak to the backend of my site that breaks the entire menu bar. (Er, sorry about that. Please pretend you didn’t notice.)

So when I write a thousand words on how to perfectly frame your profile picture, or when I chastise you for making its/it’s errors in your profile answers, I’m not just doing it to get my rocks off. I’m doing it from a place of looooove! I KNOW picky women who judge you for your lax grammar; I know guys who judge you for your awkwardly lit posing-against-a-wall-in-stilettos profile pic. I know these things work against you, and I’m trying really, really hard to help you stop making an impression that you probably don’t even realize is negative to some singles.

At the end of the day, some people will argue with me on this one; they’ll say that you should be yourself, warts and all, and leave in typos or terribly unflattering pictures because your REAL soul mate would never judge you for such superficial things. And they may be right, but to them, I counter: what if you never FIND that soul mate, because you look so dang awful and washed-out that they click right on past you?

Anyway, I’ve just been realizing how much overlap there is in the mindset of a tester and the mindset of an online dating coach. I try to help people see the larger impression being made, and the missed opportunities for making an impression by half-assing it in fields like your username and tagline. I think each little component matters a lot, especially given how fleeting our attention is these days, with a million sites to check and feeds that are auto-updating. Polish it up, so you have a chance of catching someone’s eye and mind before they wander off to check Twitter! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *