Key Takeaways on Lex:

  • Lex, a dating and hookup app for the LGBTQ community launched in 2019, has undergone a redesign shifting its focus to “friends and community” rather than dating/hookups.
  • The new look features a whimsical logo, green color palette, and playful illustrations, moving away from the previous text-based personal ad style.
  • While some users appreciate the improved usability, others worry the changes “sanitize” the app and wash away its raunchy, subversive nature that allowed for open sexual expression.
  • The redesign aims to position Lex as a “queer playground” for finding friends and community, though Lex’s terms still prohibit pornographic/explicit content.
  • The changes have received mixed reactions, with some embracing the new direction while others lament the loss of Lex’s original Craigslist-like personality.

The hookup and social app Lex, launched in 2019 with a wink at lesbian personal advertisements from the 1980s, is changing. The LGBTQ app had a new look last week. However, some users worry that Lex’s new “friends and community” focus may also wash away the service’s much-loved raunchy nature.

Kell Rakowski, Lex’s CEO and founder, launched the company on Instagram in 2017.

The page resembled old-school newspaper personal advertisements when people’s descriptions of themselves and others were more significant than any selfies they snapped.

Rakowski introduced Lex, a low-fi, text-based dating app, after two years and 10,000 personal ads, allowing queer individuals to be themselves without fear of being censored by mainstream social media.

Lex is not only regarded as a place to find gay romance but has also established itself as a vital resource for fostering community and meeting friends.

On January 26, Lex announced its redesign, highlighting its role in assisting people in finding “LGBTQ+ friends & queer community.” An Instagram post from the firm highlighted a change away from personal advertisements toward group meetings and chats. At the same time, a press statement described the app’s transition “from a dating app to a thriving social platform.”

The business contrasted its beginnings with a post for a trans tea party with “scones and jam” by using “how it started” meme.

The New Lex Is Green

&Walsh was hired for the redesign – they created the visual identity, message framework, website design and development, and UX/UI toolkit.

The new Lex approach centers on a constantly expanding queer playground, and &Walsh embraces this playfulness by developing a whimsical, flowing logo. The entire look tells a tale of development, wellness, and energy while preserving a raw edge. This mood is mirrored in the main green color, ‘Lex Green,’ and its palette of complementary fresh, charming spring tones, simple images of flames, flowers, stars, mountains, and hearts, all juxtaposed with rough textures, avoiding the conventional rainbow trope.

As a text-based software, &Walsh has given special attention to the message structure to support user empowerment.

&Walsh have created text lines for personalized stickers available to users offline and online to express pronouns, particular interests, and more. They were created by and for queer people.

Along with the brand elements, &Walsh designed Lex’s mobile and desktop websites and created a UX/UI toolkit. Users of Lex, popularly known as “Lexers,” provided the Lex team with comments on accessibility and usability, which helped the team make development and design decisions.

The mobile and desktop sites now work as an updated intro to the app and its key features and a gateway to Google Play and the Apple App Store for downloads.

The Changes Have Confused the Users

Some of the users liked Lex’s new appearance, while others criticized it. One user praised the app’s improved usability, while another thought it was adorable.

I appreciate the effort to make Lex better for platonic queer relationships, but I loathe the new culture of sanitizing the internet and washing our sexuality away from every platform.An Instagram user

A Lex user named Lily reported hating the shift. In her words, people previously used this app for all kinds of activities, so there’s no need to encourage ‘social’ usage unless Lex attempts to minimize other uses (i.e., sex). Another user claimed that before the change, the app felt more subversive.

One person stated that there is already enough social media available.

They liked the craigslist vibe of the original Lex more. After the change, a new user who had just joined said she had seen the comments and felt she missed out on the fun.

According to Lex’s Terms of Service website, the company’s policies were last modified on November 1, 2022. Users must ensure, per the terms, that their content won’t contain “pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit, or violent material.”

The term defines content as “all text, photos, video, audio, or other material.” In other words, the firm can remove erotic content but does not actively do so.

What do you think of the latest changes to the Lex app? Are you enjoying them?