Big data plays an important role in how Zoosk matches mates, Zadeh acknowledges, but it’s difficult — if not impossible — to engineer serendipity. “The magic is humans talking to each other…not computers picking [who you'll date],” he says in the interview. To that end, Zoosk emphasizes data-driven user experience design, to build a service that not only performs matchmaking services, but also facilitates chance encounters and connections among users. This requires a user experience that feels less like speed dating, and more like a comfortable nightclub where people want to hang out in and chat. To find out more about how Zoosk uses its data to encourage serendipitous meetings between folks looking for love, check out the interview at GigaOm.