Annie Lefforge is a multifaceted creative living and working in Northwest Arkansas. Currently at Archetype.



Link is an app that addresses the space between people in a post-pandemic world. It is also the result of my honors thesis investigation at the University of Arkansas and my senior degree project in the BFA Graphic Design program. 

Link began with careful research and a question: How might we create genuine long-term connections between young professionals by reimagining mobile dating platforms? I was inspired to create Link due to my own frustrations with dating apps. 

I started by reviewing the current literature on dating apps and creating a concept map to connect key themes from my findings.

After visualizing this information, I began to gather data through primary research. I gathered my data using three research methods outlined in Hanington and Martin’s Universal Methods of Design: surveys, interviews, and love/breakup letters. The data gained through these methods ultimately provided several key findings, including:

  • On average, participants feel more confident than vulnerable on dating apps.
  • Many participants no longer use dating platforms or severely slowed their use due to COVID-19.
  • An overwhelming majority of participants would prefer to meet someone organically rather than through a dating app. However, most believed that dating apps are a benefit to society and could be helpful and efficient in finding a future partner.

The result of this research is Link – an app that uses locations (rather than faces) to create daytime group outings. This solution allows for more organic meetups, lessens the pressure to perfect a profile and fosters genuine long-term connections – whether romantic, platonic or sexual. By removing images, unfair biases are taken out of the match phase. In this sense, the app has control over who attends each outing, while the user has the authority to establish a long-term relationship.