SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Visual shopping
Re: [Sigia-l] Visual shopping
Ziya Oz wrote:
> IOW, I'm trying to get feedback on the notion of fluid mapping/drilldown
> (done without the clumsiness) applied to, say, shopping?
Shopping? No. (I've seen your later message about SharePoint.)
I think that there are some fundamental features necessary in
any browsable shopping interface. Maybe some of these apply
to other large collections.
1) A default zoomed-out view showing departments (high-level
categories) is likely not useful, as the visitor has to
reconcile where the shop has decided something lives compared
to the need for the visitor's purchase (e.g., a birthday present).
2) If the clever designers anticipate multiple reasons for buying
X and place it it in multiple departments (e.g., gifts), visitors
might not realise that an item can be in more than one place and
might feel pressure to choose the 'right' department (that's what
my husband said about the browsegoods site - I disagree).
3) Organising by brand is inherent in the data and might seem an
obvious way to group items, but I don't think people think like
that for regular items - again, you're forcing the visitor to
traipse around sub-departments.
Now, if you could put similar items (whatever 'similar' means)
in proximity, that might be useful. When Frank and I visit
[big London dept store] to oggle expensive watches (which are
organised by brand because of the concession system), we
invariably walk around every display. However, we could probably
articulate which kinds of watches we are interested in and
which we are never want to see. (Make a collection where include
items that match criteria XYZ and exclude items that match
criteria ABC - it wouldn't be perfect but it'd be better than
having to browse everything at a high level.)
3) When shopping, your first view of item pics should be thumbnails
that you actually get a sense of the item - how else is one
supposed to decide "this looks good, I'll zoom in." I believe
that this is the show-stopper for a zoomable shopping interface.
4) When zooming in, and you can no longer see the edges of the
area you're in, there must be some visual device to indicate where
you are in the space: an indication of the viewport area to the
whole thing (just why people need scrollbars).
But also by department and sub-department. The browsegoods
essentially wrote the sub-department name on the floor which was
only visible at certain 'heights'; once you zoom in close
enough to see thumbnails, you no longer knew what sub-dept you
were in. If category names are important enough to be the way
people [have to] choose sub-sets of data, the current category
(or full context) should appear on the screen at all times.
(For regular web sites, I always colour-code [and icon-code] the
main site sections. The colour is applied to the main nav plus a
combination of backgrounds, headings and local navigation
depending on the visual design). It's so that people get a quick
visual cue if they accidentally wander off into a different
section but also can easily find their way back - "oh, it was
the green tab" - functional decoration.)
I think that, otherwise, people will soon become to feel that
they're 'lost' and the experience quickly starts to be a
hit-and-miss game rather than something the visitor has
confidence in. They need to know:
a) where they are (in context / by category)
b) how much they've seen
c) how much more there is left to do/browse/examine
d) they haven't wandered off somewhere else inadvertently
I hope this helps.
IA Summit 2007: Enriching IA
Rich Information, Rich Interaction, Rich Relationships
March 22-26, 2007, Las Vegas, NV
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: Mon Mar 05 2007 - 01:56:29 EST