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Snooth User: Philip James

Recommendation page filters

Posted by Philip James, May 29, 2007.

Several of you have asked for the ability to sort the recommendations by price / type / region etc. This could be managed in a similar way to the ratings page, or the search page search refinement (still under construction).

We initially decided to go this route, however, decided against it when we realized that most of the time you'd end up with 0 results. Assuming you have 50 wines recommended (we're going to limit this number, as 1,000 recommendations isnt that helpful), the moment you say you want a French merlot, or a Chilean wine, you'd be lucky to have 2 results left.

Our concern is that with 2 results, users would over-weight how confident we were in suggesting those wines, and they'd think we were basically saying - THIS IS THE ONLY CHILEAN WINE FOR YOU. Obviously this isnt the case - we're saying these wines might be good matches for you.

For specific queries the search function is better - type "fruity chilean malbec's" and you still get lots of results. These are sorted by SnoothRank, so you know they are still good wines.

QUESTION: Do you need to filter/sort the recommendations by region, price etc or can you go through them by hand?

The full range of options to me seems to be: filter and sort > filter only > sort only > nothing.

Please vote and add any specific comments below. Thanks


Reply by andrew, May 29, 2007.

I agree that empty results are frustrating, but there are several ways around that, including tag clouds or lists of key words that have results ("In your results, you have: French wine 5, Syran 2 etc.). Or, alternately, If someone submits an empty search (or a search with few results), there could be split results like this:

Search for: "Chardonnay"
In your recommendations:
Chardonnay a
Chardonnay b
All of Snooth:
Chardonnay c. (etc.)

Reply by Mark Angelillo, May 29, 2007.

Does it make sense to limit what a person could search on in the recommendations?

Rather than searching through the recommendations the way Snooth's search page works, one could filter by specific varietals, or popular regions.

Reply by Philip James, May 30, 2007.

Would it make sense to just do sort and then to design the recommendations page similar to the my ratings page and allow the same column sort functionality.

I think for the filtering piece, maybe it would just make sense if the user had over 200 recommendations and then allow them to filter their results by wine type and snoothrank? Maybe put an additional filter tool on the left side of the page giving users the ability to filter via that filter criteria?

And then, if they still don't find what they are looking for or want to look at the same type of wine, they can use the "Looking for Something" search box, but is there any way to predict the adjective based on the user's ratings, i.e., fruity cabernet, versus leathery cabernet and then autopopulate that search criteria into a search?

Reply by Philip James, May 30, 2007.

Some good points - thank you.

One thing we're going to work on first is making the recommendations better. We're trying to avoid making recommendations like search. if we do our job properly you wont need to page backwards and forwards looking for a certain wine - we'll have already suggested it to you.

We have a few tweaks that'll go in soon, which should help.

Still, we're all ears - keep the comments coming.

Reply by RGermuska, May 31, 2007.

Surely filter and sort are two different beasts?

Since I've already filtered the database using the search, all I want to do now is sort the returned results into groups, according to price, region, or type, depending on my reason for purchasing.

Since this is just a re-ordering of the datagrid why would I end up with no results?

I wouldn't be interested in refining my search at this point by performing additional filtering using the price, region or type, which I agree would end up with multiple zero result pages.

So I vote, for sorting, not additional filtering.

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