September 18, 2008 6:31 PM   Subscribe

"I can't believe how intuitive and effective this is." Shop for apparel (men's and women's shoes, handbags, eyewear) in a totally novel way. Click on something that catches your eye, then instantly see more items that look similar. There's also some variety thrown in so that you can explore related looks. This open-ended browsing is supposed to be easy and fun! This project, based on computer vision algorithms, won the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition this year. We're just releasing the beta now. I'd love to get some feedback on it... thanks!
posted by ajshankar (33 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by ThePinkSuperhero on October 22, 2008: Like one of those magical closets you see in the movies

Great site! Really easy to narrow down the options and see general price ranges for a particular kind of item. One thing you might want to add is a way to narrow things down using size for shoes. My shoe size is a Women's size 10 and can be a little hard to find, so it makes sense to narrow things down using that first.
posted by peacheater at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2008

nice design, very intuitive. one godsend of a filter i don't see is shoe size, which cuts out 90% of the chaff and leaves me the mens 15s.
posted by ioesf at 7:53 PM on September 18, 2008

I like this very much.
posted by Riverine at 7:58 PM on September 18, 2008

Thanks for the early feedback! Just a note -- we are working hard on getting sizes up there. (It's a bit hard since size information changes very frequently and we don't have a way to get that info from of our retailers yet.) But hopefully we'll get that working in the next week or two.
posted by ajshankar at 8:09 PM on September 18, 2008

Sizes in the handbag section would be nice to have too, but that may be very difficult to track down.
posted by culberjo at 3:39 AM on September 19, 2008

This is a terrific way to present products. The only design suggestion I'd make is create a cooler placeholder graphic for times when the page loads.

Unfortunately, I experienced a problem: after I left the site and navigated back to it, it appeared to try to pick up where I left off, then got stuck with the "computing" button flashing. It appeared to hang up my entire browser until I closed the tab in which it was trying to load. Even clicking "start over" doesn't get it to reset. Not sure what the problem is, but FYI. I'm running Safari 3.1.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.11.
posted by itstheclamsname at 7:47 AM on September 19, 2008

Man, that is fun to play with ... one pony-request I would have if I were using it to shop, though? A "back" button. Like, I would select an item from a pool, then select another one I liked to get a new pool, then realize I liked the first pool better and be unable to get back to it and have to start all over again.
posted by bettafish at 10:22 AM on September 19, 2008

Bettafish: You can use your browser's back button. We've spent a good amount of time making that work. However, I agree it's not obvious that you're browser's back button would work, so we're also working on a little history widget that displays your browsing history for you so you can go back to anything you've visited previously.
posted by ajshankar at 10:59 AM on September 19, 2008

Very fun, but I've noticed that some results come back duplicate. Could be an issue with how Zappo's stocks inventory in their database, but that sort of thing may unfairly work against the site as it makes it looks like it returns more unique results than there are.
posted by like_neon at 2:27 PM on September 19, 2008

Very nice! I'd like to first narrow it by type, like within shoes to first select "boots" or "sneakers", or within handbags to first select "clutches" or "messengers". That prevents having to click through multiple pages from the get-go before finding something to select as a favorite.
posted by xo at 3:57 PM on September 19, 2008

This open-ended browsing is supposed to be easy and fun!

It is! Any plans on expanding to clothing in the future?
posted by tushfestival at 9:10 AM on September 20, 2008

This is great!

Two comments:
I would like the ability to narrow things by option (e.g. I'd like to be able to select shoes without traditional shoe strings).

Could you add bags with more utility? I mean things like laptop bags or courier bags.
posted by oddman at 11:53 AM on September 21, 2008

Very useful. I just bought a pair of shoes and plugged your site when the site asked where I'd heard of them. Thanks!
posted by schyler523 at 6:15 PM on September 21, 2008

I would love to know (at least at a high level) how this works. Even beyond the high level, is there a whitepaper link somewhere?

My overall feedback is that it is wonderful, full of potential, except ...

Bettafish: You can use your browser's back button. We've spent a good amount of time making that work.

... except that you broke the back button for everything but your site.
posted by bwanabetty at 6:28 PM on September 21, 2008

Can the site not handle prices above 3 digits? I noticed that a bag was listed as $0 on Modiste only to find when I clicked through that it was actually $2250. Rather disappointing! :)
posted by peacheater at 7:56 PM on September 21, 2008

Hi all,
Thanks for the great feedback! To answer some questions:

We've fixed the back button issue. (I hope.) Please let me know if you have any problems.

xo: We're working in an explicit type search, but you can always enter in the type (e.g. "boot", "clutch") into the quick find box (top right).

tushfestival: Long term plans include clothing, furniture, and jewelry. But first we're trying to break even on this ;).

peacheater: I can't for the life of me find this mysterious bag. Any info would be appreciated. We definitely do support 4 digit prices, and there are a bunch of bags listed at above $1k on the site.
posted by ajshankar at 9:52 AM on September 22, 2008

posted by davejay at 1:25 AM on September 23, 2008

Wait, more than terrific -- all apparel shopping sites should work this way, this should literally be the standard. Holy crap, what a great job you've done.
posted by davejay at 1:26 AM on September 23, 2008

What a great filter mechanism. This is the most transparent, intuitive shopping interface I have encountered.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 1:23 PM on September 23, 2008

Yes! Great job. PLEASE do not add too much more functionality. Danger here of feature creep. It's simple, it's intuitive, it's fun, it's practical. This is how people actually think about clothing and shoe shopping.
posted by mamessner at 9:55 PM on September 25, 2008

This really is excellent. Awesome work.
posted by zazerr at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2008

Aw, man. I have to have a size filter with my size 11 feet. Shopping without one just depresses me, it's like having doors slammed in my face.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:33 PM on October 3, 2008

posted by R. Mutt at 7:46 PM on October 4, 2008

Hey all,
I'm happy to announce that we've put out a new release with some better UI stuff, a larger inventory, two new categories -- and, most importantly, sizes! We've got tens of thousands of shoes at each of the sizes mentioned here, so I hope this helps.
posted by ajshankar at 1:12 AM on October 7, 2008

Width, width, *width*! I've watched someone with wide feet shop, and it's typically 80% of the shoes that are too narrow. It would be nice to be able to narrow it down.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 7:12 AM on October 23, 2008

Woah are you guys working with Zappos now? I just saw this post from @zappos and thought I recognized the interface.
posted by nerdcore at 8:26 PM on April 18, 2009

nerdcore: Yep, we're trying to work something out with them. Would be great to get this technology out to a larger audience!
posted by ajshankar at 11:19 AM on May 18, 2009

I want to shop for everything like this, please.
posted by carsonb at 1:18 PM on September 2, 2009

Although I'm not sure that anyone will see this, I just wanted to say that I'm sad that Modista is gone now. It was really an awesome shopping experience, and it sucks that it had to go.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:36 PM on December 30, 2009

Yep. I can't believe that it's gone! I was all set to do some shoe shopping today...and nothing. I hope things work out well for ajshankar and crew.
posted by niles at 8:08 PM on January 27, 2010

DARNIT I needed to find some green heels for my bridesmaids. Bummed about this. Shopstyle is not nearly as good as this used to be.
posted by like_neon at 8:13 AM on February 2, 2010

This is bumming me out so bad.
posted by jennyb at 9:00 AM on February 16, 2010

Me too. sad sad sad.
posted by Pants! at 8:06 AM on May 18, 2010

« Older Edible City...   |   My New Photography Site.... Newer »

You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.