Pick your weapon of choice: Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, old-school flirting on Facebook.
Students have many options when selecting an online dating service but one app hopes to circumvent mismatches and awkward dates by letting users “qualify” their matches.
The app is called, quite simply, Qualify. There’s no swiping back and forth, tapping profile photos and sending noncommittal “Hey”s. In fact, you can’t base your decision on appearance at all. Instead, you pick three questions to define the type of person you’re looking for.
When someone logs into the app, they see your “quiz” and a blurred profile photo. If they can answer two out of three questions correctly, your photo clears and you get a notification inviting you to take their quiz.
Sean Chenoweth, the Colorado-based CEO behind Qualify, wanted to help college students find the same kind of reliable compatibility sites like eHarmony and Match.com foster, without so many hurdles. “Collectively, there needs to be four out of six questions answered correctly, so it gives us both a chance to try our best to see if we can show that we have similar interests,” Chenoweth says.
Users can choose from a list of several hundred questions or create their own. Chenoweth says the most profound part of the process has been seeing users start to focus on creating their questions. “It’s a self-discovery tool almost,” he says. “You start wondering ‘What do I really want in a potential partner?’… Creating these questions isn’t a super easy task.”
Another part of the sell is the pool of people you can match with. Because registration requires a “.edu” email address, you’re looking at only other college students.
The idea for the app came naturally. A few years ago, Chenoweth was a University of Colorado Boulder student studying molecular biology. “A year after that, I was like, ‘I want nothing to do with this,’” Chenoweth says with a laughs.
After taking some time away, he began to develop an interest in people running businesses from their computer. He learned basic computer skills and started working in Internet marketing until the idea for Qualify hit him.
“(The idea came from) a string of really awkward Tinder dates with girls I had nothing in common with,” Chenoweth says. “The girls had just as bad of a time as I did because I probably wasn’t the best date for them either.”
Chenoweth found himself wishing he could qualify his matches a little more before “taking the leap of faith” and meeting up with them. Throw in a bit of Trivia Crack, another app Chenoweth was playing at the time, and Qualify was born. The game-like platform and its level of interactivity and fun was important in its creation.
“It’s really fun,” Chenoweth says. “You will get on this app and just start seeing what your other classmates are asking. It’s like going into a treasure box and pulling something random from it each time.”
The app launched about a year ago at University of Colorado Boulder and has since expanded to other Colorado universities. Recently, Qualify has expanded to select schools in Arizona and Texas, including ASU.
Chenoweth says over time, they plan to refine the app and continue its expansion to other states but they’ve had strong numbers in Colorado and are beginning to see it start up in Arizona.
“The biggest thing we’ve seen is just kids enjoying taking quizzes,” he says. “Have a lot of fun while searching for that potential mate.”
Available on the App Store