In a world where matchmaking has gotten more difficult than splitting the Red Sea, one website has decided to try and make it fun again. Playing With Matches is a site that aims to make dating and matchmaking easy and without all the complexities, by approaching it from a new angle. Based on comments heard from many singles and matchmakers, the creators set out to create a new website that would incorporate new ideas and simplify the process.
Using the web company SaltnPixels, known for its attention to detail, good design and development, the custom site was created from the ground up. Due to the complexity and the custom nature of the website, the entrepreneurs behind Playing With Matches wanted to ensure its professional quality and success. Thus, the site has a very different look and feel from other dating sites. “The site essentially is almost like two in one, in that there is one view for singles and another for matchmakers. It involved a lot of work,” said its creators. “And though our site is new, the feedback so far has been positive from both singles and matchmakers alike.”
The site does incorporate many features found on other dating sites in the Jewish Community, from screening all who apply as singles, to interviewing each matchmaker to ensure the highest quality and the best standards matchmaking can find.
What separates this online dating site from others is a few factors, with its functionality for mobile users, direct communication and user involvement being key. For communication, Playing With Matches focused on a way to make matchmakers and singles have direct access to each other. Playing With Matches made the messages a clear and direct form of communication. In addition, if a matchmaker and user are online at the same time, the messaging program allows for instantaneous communication, something that has become the norm in today’s fast-moving, text-based world of communication. “Contacting matchmakers is easy and fast. We have a chat system in place and each match you are in has its own chat so things are separated and everything is one click away,” explained PlayingWithMatches.com. “You don’t need to go through your inbox trying to remember which shadchan sent you what. All your matches are listed in the sidebar and each one has a corresponding chat icon so you can message the shadchan that set you up fast and easy.”
The biggest difference in functionality can be found at the single user’s end. This is the ability for singles to participate in the matchmaking process. While many sites have only matchmakers using the criteria or algorithms to set users up, for users who want a bigger role, Playing With Matches allows singles to see a limited view of a profile, and if interested, they can “star” it and a matchmaker will look into it further. “Your full profile is always private, and you can only be seen by matchmakers and those with whom you have been matched,” the creators reassure users. “There is a small amount of information which is visible to singles. Information such as height, age, general location and religious classification can be seen. You can even choose to show a small paragraph about yourself. Your name and references and other info is hidden. This allows for privacy, while, at the same time, giving you the power to see just enough to find the right users on your own.”
With a background in user experience and graphic design, the site’s creator looked to make everything about the website as user friendly as possible, even enlisting both singles and matchmakers to test out the website and provide feedback before having it go live.
As an initial courtesy while the site continues to grow, registration is free. Even once PlayingWithMatches.com starts charging, the first month will be free for new users. After that it will be an affordable $12 a month. To register as a single or matchmaker, please go to www.PlayingWithMatches.com
By Jenny Gans