In the four years since Tinder’s launch, the right swipe has become the prevailing signifier of our generation—shorthand for like, lust, and (possibly, hopefully, finally) love. It was no accident of design. Tinder’s creators knew they had to make online dating fast, delightful, intuitive—and a little physical. Fans of celebrated UX designer Loren Brichter, who created the pleasingly tactile pull-to-refresh feature now used by most apps, the team eventually stumbled on an iconic gesture of their own. Of course, the origin story includes the requisite happenstance and serendipity, plus a touch of controversy. But everyone agrees on one thing: Without the swipe, there would be no Tinder. And we might all be going home alone tonight.
乔纳森 · Badeen
瑞恩 · 奥格尔
狄穆尔贾尼 （前舱口盖实验室首席执行官）︰ Tinder began at one of our hackathons. We thought online dating felt broken and laborious.
乔纳森 Badeen （首席战略官）︰ It wasn’t fun. We wanted to have the same sense of excitement you get from a game.
瑞安 Ogle (CTO): We knew that if you download an app and it’s annoying, or it takes an extra second to do something, you’re just going to get rid of it.
Badeen: Buttons don’t work all that well. Every step you take, your finger moves a little, and you’ve got touch targets that can be hard to hit. I started to think that a gesture might be a good way to go for this.
Badeen: I was getting out of the shower one morning, wiping the mirror because the room was steamy, and I saw myself staring back at myself. Then I wiped the other direction. All of a sudden it clicked.
克里斯 Gulczynski (前首席创意官): The initial launch didn’t have swiping. But when I showed it to my friends, they kept trying to swipe to see the next person.
Badeen: I started thinking about the way I organize photos in real life. How I’ll start out with one stack and eventually end up with two: my yes and my no. Swiping would give you that same personal, sort of manipulable experience. It mimics the real world, where you’re able to pick something up and put it over there.
Gulczynski: Jon [Badeen] likes to take credit for “inventing the right swipe,” when in reality he ripped it off from the flash-card app he worked on for Chegg. It was me who said that swiping should mean something.
Badeen: After I came up with the swipe, I was looking for other things that did it. There wasn’t anything. I was really surprised. It seemed so logical and simple.
也许抛个媚眼︰ We weren’t as excited about it as Jon was, in the beginning. He really saw the potential.
Badeen: I was having a hard time describing it. Like, yeah, you swipe it, and there it goes! Everybody was like, did you take something this morning?
的 Sean Rad （首席执行官）︰ We had a five-minute conversation. It was a cool idea, but Jon thought it would take two weeks to build. So I said, eh, probably not a priority. This was right after we launched. We had a whole set of things we wanted to do.
也许抛个媚眼︰ We wanted to do read receipts, typing notifications, all these things.Then, three weeks later, I saw swiping in the app! At first I was angry. I said to Jon, “Did you just spend two weeks working on this?”I’d actually thrown it in and hadn’t told anyone. I’m sure there were a billion bugs in it, so it probably wasn’t the most reliable.He told me he did it over the weekend. So I was like, OK. Fine.Not the best version of it, but it worked. Sometimes.The stakes weren’t as high four years ago. You weren’t worried about disrupting a multimillion-dollar company or a multimillion-person userbase.We did it because it felt right.We could have designed the user gesturing to scroll up and down in the app but decided a left-to-right swipe was a more natural hand movement, particularly when holding the smartphone with one hand.Loren Brichter’s pull-to-refresh was a brilliant thing. It’s this desire to be able to organize things in the way we organize them in real life, which is through touch and movement. That very visceral, very reactive interface and ability to really feel like you’re doing it. I think it even adds emotion.The emotional connection probably comes in the euphoric feeling of when you swipe right and there’s a match. That dopamine rush is now associated with a right swipe.Even after we added swiping, we never educated people about it. But there were hints. People started figuring it out.You’d ask someone, “Have you heard of this app called Tinder?” At some point we started hearing, “Is that the thing where you swipe?” They’d always do the thumb thing.We have over a trillion swipes now. You sometimes hear about us being shallow, a hookup site, but the point wasto be superficial. It was to fill that need of a mobile generation. They want to be able to do things quickly.I remember watching Jimmy Kimmelif he’d heard about Tinder. Murray’s like, yeah, I know about it, and he’s miming the swipe left and right. I thought, “Oh my God, Bill Murray knows about our work.”