Online dating for designers?

I was just browsing my feedly this morning, checking out what was going on in the pockets of the world that I regularly read. And I came across something that’s HUGE, you guys. Simply massive.

Creative Mornings is a wonderful series of free breakfast lectures that was started by design guru Swiss Miss. I’ve only attended one so far, because I only discovered it recently, but I enjoyed it and I love how simple and accessible the meetings are. I particularly love being able to meet more design-minded folks to potentially hire, or from whom I can just soak up inspiration and advice. I never really used to think of myself as someone who was design or creativity minded, but I’m realizing that I totally am even if it takes different shapes than the folks who actually have the term “design” in their job title. (Heck, I could start calling myself an online dating “designer” tomorrow if I wanted to confuse people, haha.) And my QA background definitely has me paying attention to tiny design details that I overlooked in my design-naïve youth.

Anyway, Swiss Miss just posted about how the site for CM was recently redesigned, and her most beloved feature is mine too:

But my favorite part of it all is the People section filled with attendee profiles from around the world. (Notice the ‘single’ filter? Grin!)

Are you kidding me? Of COURSE I raced over and created a profile (even though I was a tiny bit sad that I cannot check the single box, if only because I love her intention there). Check out the initial account creation deets:

To respect the preferences of the average designer, I went ahead and adjusted the little rectangle so the drop-shadow wasn't cut off by my crop. You're welcome.

I love Tina’s instincts here; they seriously can’t be praised enough. And of course, her levity-but-no-really-check-if-it-applies copy is helpful, too; it embodies EXACTLY how I encourage my clients to write. (Let’s analyze: she embraces the awkwardness, she keeps it funny and short, and she states an intention that drives towards actual connection happening. A++, Tina!)

I think building in a way for single users to identify each other is worthwhile behavior for ANYONE creating or helping establish a community. In the early days of App.Net, a poorly named but passionately enjoyed social network for geeks (in a nutshell), there were members who tried putting #single in their bios, or who tried creating a directory or at least discourse between single members. And I know of at least one couple who formed from that network; I hope more come eventually (or come forward, haha).

As I’ve said before, online dating can happen in strange ways. From sub-Spotifying to meeting people from Reddit or WoW, the Internet in general is really one big tool to help people connect better with each other, if you boil it down. And when I tell my clients to consider checking out Meetups in their area of people who share their interests, this is exactly what I’m pushing—get yourself in situations where you’re social and surrounded by people who share your interests. Those interest lists don’t have to be carbon copies of each other, but a little overlap is a nice starting point! Creative Mornings in Seattle seems like a mostly partnered-up pool, but you never do know. I certainly met potential referrers there, even if I didn’t directly meet potential clients. And of course, I met inspiring, enthusiastic people who help me remember to embrace creativity and design in everything I do.

Have any of you ever met a partner via a site or game or other online-originated community that falls outside the boundaries of traditional online dating? I would so so so love to hear about it, and I’d love even more if you’re willing to share it here to inspire others. 🙂

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