How Chappy uses UX to change the gay dating game

🕙 3 min read


Described as ‘the new dating app for 21st-century gay men’ by The Independent and ‘The world’s first ever gay dating app’ by QX Magazine, Chappy is capturing attention with its philosophy. But obviously, it’s by no means the world’s first gay dating app is it. Grindr, Hornet, Scruff and many more have paved the way before Chappy, so what’s so special about it?

Born with investment from Bumble, founders Ollie Locke (Made in Chelsea’s finest chiselled man) and the charming Jack Rogers, set out to create an app which “could do for gay men what Whitney Wolfe did for women”. For those who don’t know the name, Whitney Wolfe is the woman behind Bumble, which has been rivalling Tinder with its feminist values.

At the ‘Out In Tech’ launch this week, Co-founder Ollie explained Chappy’s different philosophy to the fast and exciting hookup apps. Chappy app is not just about a quick blowey in a bar in Soho (however if you’re looking for that, you most certainly can find it), it’s about bringing more humanity into dating profiles.

So how do they bring this philosophy to life? Here are 3 unique design features which are shaping Chappy’s ‘more than fun’ mentality.


An honest log in

On all dating apps, catfishing is legit happening. You think you’re meeting with 26-year-old Tom from Clapham and suddenly you’re faced with 39-year-old Tim from Milton Keynes who looks like he’s had a hard life. To get around this and create a sense of honesty, Chappy only lets you log in with your Facebook profile, reducing the likelihood of your date being a digital deceiver. But not everyone loves this, in fact, it’s one of the biggest complaint topics pulling down the user reviews. Will Chappy stay true to its values? Or will it cave under the pressure? Only time will tell.


No dicks please sir

If you’re on Grindr, you will get sent dick pics. It’s not an if, it’s a when. Whilst this is a tricky one to overcome, Chappy has enforced a rule that all your 6 profile pics must have your face in. You can have your perfectly manicured abs, some buns in the sun as well, but no pork swords please.


A sliding scale of naughtiness

Having been someone who browsed the depressing man catalogue of Tinder back in the day, I can sympathize with the task of working out; is this person a potential love match? Or does he just want to fuck after 2 drinks at Gordon’s wine bar? Sometimes, people log on to dating apps looking for a cheeky poke. Other times, they are looking for something a bit deeper (emotionally, not in the penetrative sense). Chappy caters for both by using a sliding scale from ‘Mr. Right’ to ‘Mr. Right Now’. Mr. Right being, “I’m looking to get to know someone, maybe a long term thing”, Mr. Right Now being “I’m feeling spontaneous, let’s see what’s up”.


With some sturdy user experience, the app is gaining popularity, but where is Chappy going next? After meeting Ollie and Jack at the ‘Out In Tech’ launch, it seems they have big plans for life after swiping. Without giving too much away, they are driving a longer term strategy so you don’t just delete it after you find what you’re looking for. Is it time for the first social concierge app catering specifically to the gays? Watch this space.


Sum up:

Whilst I met my #BoyOfDreams on Tinder, I certainly did kiss a few frogs before I found him. Personally, I would have loved the choice of the sliding scale. What do you think? Is it all the in the game? Or do you want to be signing from the same hymn sheet straight off? Let me know.


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