We’ve received lots of helpful user feedback lately and we’re excited to take some very initial steps in response to it. Very broadly, the larger initiative (of which today’s changes are just a small first step) involve:
- streamlining the site (particularly its data structures) to make it easier to use and more flexible for external applications including mobile
- creating faster, easier ways to contribute to Hunch that don’t require burdensome initial ‘training’ of new results
- a greater emphasis on helping you discover and share new things you’d probably like (as opposed to just confirming stuff that you already know about)
Here are some of the initial changes you’ll notice starting today:
1) Transitioning of topic-specific questions to a tag format:
We’ll be taking down all of the topic-specific (also called “refiner”) questions on Hunch.com and moving to a model where topics are navigated by tags. This should make it much faster and easier to browse and filter results. At the same time, it will speed up the contribution process since you won’t have to train every new result you add against all the existing questions in each topic.
We understand that for a lot of contributors this is a big change and will take time to get used to. As we release major new features over the next few months we think you’ll appreciate even more why the flexible tag model works better than the former rigid question format. For more details about this, check this separate blog post.
2) Stars replace Like, Dislike, and Favorite buttons
We’re moving to the familiar Netflix model of a 5 star rating system for predictions and ratings. Any past ratings you’ve made will be converted to the new format as follows:
- Anything you’ve disliked will show up as a 1 star rating
- Anything you’ve liked will show as a 4 star rating
- Anything you’ve designated a favorite will show as a 5 star rating
Predicted ratings are shown in red stars and your actual ratings are shown in yellow.
We think this new format will make it easier to understand Hunch’s predictions and also to rate items in an intuitive way.
3) New visual formats for ‘Browse Topics’ and ‘See all results’ pages
The ‘browse topics’ page has been redesigned from a text-only list to a matrix of visual images that help you find and discover topics of interest. We’ll have to admit that even we were struck by the visual power of this; it reminded us of all the great content that Hunch’s contributors have made to the site. Hope you like it as well.
Similarly, the ‘All Results’ page will now show a matrix of image results, making it easier to see (and rate) the results at a glance. They’ll be ordered by the star rating that Hunch predicts for you. You can click on any image to see the familiar Hunch result page which contains more information about each item, including pros/cons, descriptions, pricing, and purchase links.
The left side of the ‘All Results’ page (where the topic-specific/refiner questions used to be) will now show tags associated with the group of results being displayed. You can click on one or several tags to filter by them and create a new subset of results.
Again, this is just a small first step. We’ll be announcing more very soon — particularly regarding ways that Hunch can help you discover new things and then share those things with other users.
As always, we welcome your suggestions or comments in the forum.