Major upgrade for eHarmony

You might remember that I’m less than a  huge fan of eHarmony’s checkered political background. That remains true, but you know what? They still offer a great product for certain people. So despite my reservations, I continue to recommend that certain clients try eHarmony out. And thankfully, their service just got much better. Mashable reported on the many UI changes that are finally rolling out to all users, with a great piece showing a few examples. (Some of these shifts have been visible in both the iPhone app and in some users’ accounts for a while now, but now they’re coming to everyone and all platforms.)

I’d say the biggest upgrade is that it’s more visual now. Public profile views show all photos at once, not just the main profile photo, which is excellent—I’ve long been frustrated by having to navigate to another page to view photos, when we’re all visual creatures who use pictures to size up our potential attraction to someone before we bother reading their copy. And now, the new dashboard showing recent activity also shows the pictures of your potential matches in a more prominent way. However, both could be even better, IMO, but maybe more changes are in the works. Check out these two examples, below, with my annotations in the screenshots and commentary:

New Profile page

This photo column is great, but I wish they also showed the captions in this view. Captions are so powerful at helping give context and personality to the images you use.

New dashboard

The”new matches” pics at the top are smart, but they should also show images of people who’ve sent you messages, in the same place. In my opinion. :) We’re visual creatures!

The one new change I’m actually not wild about is the way questions are answered. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but a) this feels WAY more like an app screen than an actual web survey screen to me, and b) I hate not knowing how far I am in a series of questions. Some kind of progress bar would be nice! Oh, and c) selections like this that require mouse input are difficult for me, ergonomically, but I know I’m kind of the odd one out and I bet most users prefer this way more punchy visual approach. I don’t hate it, I just think it’s put to better use in a mobile-only kind of theme. I’d prefer to have multiple questions (even ones that used this same interface scaled down) on the same page in desktop view, you know? Fewer unnecessary clicky-clicks. But again, my own picky combo of ergonomic needs and data desires may not be representative of their user base. :)

Sample question

This new UI is RIDICULOUSLY ENORMOUS on my 24″ monitor, you know?

All in all, this is definitely a move in a better direction that makes eHarmony friendly to more users. I totally love the Mashable pull quote from their conversation with eHarmony:

“Our original site was incredibly scientific and incredibly sterile.”

HA! 100% agreed! I would always tell clients it was like filling out a Meyers-Briggs test. They took their sweet damn time about catching up to other sites, but it’s looking much better now. May this be a move from all sites to beef up their UI to be less alienating to their (often paying) users already! (Match.com, I’m looking at you next.) Anyway, eHarmony is about to be much less overwhelming if you decide to sign up on that site!

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