A old-fashioned app for queer people, based on traditional newspaper personal ads, has been sent.
Lex aims to provide a platform for lesbian, bisexual, asexual and queer people, according to its stagger Kelly Rakowski.
It was previously run as an Instagram account called @personals where operators would submit a dating profile in the style of a newspaper personal ad. People could footnote and start conversation.
Personals was inspired by Rakowski’s experiment with for her Instagram account, @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y, which shared images dedicated to lesbian customs to over 150,000 followers.
While running the account, Rakowski establish vintages images of dating ads written by women.
“Writing a personal ad is a assorted deliberate and defined way to find deep, longer lasting connections — or impartial for one hot night,” she says.
“You’re not throwing up a selfie with an emoji attached”
Personals built a community of on the other side of 60,000 followers and posted around 10,000 ads over two years. The app foci to deal with an increase in user numbers while still absorbing its community spirit.
Now users have an individual profile where they can pillar an ad with a title and longer post beneath. Other users can wish that post and start a conversation in a private inbox. There are no photos countenanced on profiles.
Rakowski says that the reading-based app is about “contemplating thoughtfully”. “Scribble literary works a personal ad — that process in itself slows one down,” she adds. “You’re not cast up a selfie with an emoji attached just to be swiped and tossed away.
“Animation is hard enough”
Rakowski says that during beta assay the app, there was concern about a ‘like’ feature on a dating app. Unlike Instagram, there is no publicly obvious ‘like’ tallies for ads.
“People that might not receive so many ‘predilections’ may feel bad and bummed out,” she says. “That’s not the experience we want our community to be enduring — life is hard enough.”
It was part of an attempt to create a more community-based app. “It’s all give finding connections, in your neighbourhood and the world,” Rakowski says.
The text-based, photo-free app goes against the pattern of most dating app trends. Rakowski says this is intentional: “People are compel ought to dating app and social media burnout.
“Lex is the perfect mix of old school and tech – virtuous enough taste of each to make it successful.”
Other kissers are more recognisable; for example, a filter function to narrow down searches. You can also coupling with your Instagram account.
You can also post ads continuously — whether they are a intimate ad or a ‘missed connection’ which are aimed at chance encounters.
The app was pointed by Andrew LeClair and Anna Feng. LeClair, a New York-based graphic schemer, says: “We wanted the look of the app to be immediately recognizable.
“If you took a screenshot of one of the familiar ads and reposted it somewhere else, like Instagram, we wanted it to be obvious that it had blow in from Lex.”
The design process involved a lot of “visual check out” and studying newspaper personal ads that Rakowski had collected. Because of their contents and the “specific of language”, the team felt that “the identity of the app should be grounded in definitive typographical choices”.
A study of ads for other apps and start-ups on the New York underground railway also influenced Lex’s appearance.
“There were certain visual modes – soft pastels and geometric sans-serifs – which had reached peak saturation and which we yen to move away from,” LeClair says.
Resisting gender-based stereotypes
The serif typeface preferred, Portrait, was created by New York designer Berton Hasebe. This smallest typeface has classical flourishes and forms the foundation of the app’s look.
It was paired with a “subtly quirky san-serif’ typeface, Folio. This servants to “lighten the visual tone and works well at smaller scales,” concerting to LeClair.
The colour chosen is a distinctive cyan, which LeClair rings “very digital”. It’s “bright and spunky and resists gender-based stereotypes for everyone colour”, he adds.
“It’s a colour that can only be reproduced on screen where you receive access to the wider gamut of colours that are possible in RGB colour elbow-rooms,” LeClair says.
“Slow down the user experience”
While the set thought about incorporating images into the app, the decision was ultimately fill in not to according to LeClair. And as so many dating apps focus on images, LeClair mentions that “the focus on text feels surprisingly radical”.
The ubiquitous swipe give someone the high sign is also missing. LeClair says: “The text of each ad is generous so that you can cynosure clear on one ad at a time.
“We wanted to slow down the user experience.”