“The idea to make Kinds.app (the web2 iteration) look and behave like a game came from the principles derived from the user research: Safe, Familiar, Zero reject and Fun. The idea of "zero reject" played a big role on steering the design away from relying too much on user photos. While the idea of 'safe', pushed back on this trend, advocating for some sort of visual identification. The conflict between these two principles, peppered by the 'fun', opened the floodgate for many cool ideas."
People constantly mentioned the need to feel safe when approaching others. The feeling of safety is connected to the willingness to pursue, or not, the encounter. Even for introverts, an unsafe feeling represented a greater driver to avoidance than intraversion.
Users stated many times that they are used to the Apps they use everyday. Any detour from the existent affordances provided by dating/friendship Apps risks having a steep education curve attached to it.
Any solution tasked with helping people make friends can't have the same level of anxiety attached to it as dating Apps have. People must feel comfortable with the solution, and this is highly correlated with the elimination, if possible, of the fear of rejection.
Is it fun though? This principle should drive the design of the interfaces and affordances of the App. Dating Apps, per this research, are definitely NOT fun. Addictive, yes. Perceived as deeply necessary by most, certainly. But not fun. It may seem otherwise if you are not user, but all users reported a high level of stress and anxiety related to the use of such Apps. (for more information see the emotional journey)