tech

New Hunch interface

Today we are releasing a new version of the Hunch question-and-answer interface.  The main idea behind the new interface is that you now see Hunch’s top recommendations updated in real time as you answer questions.

Besides giving instant feedback, this also lets you see how each answer you give affects the recommendations.  We think it does a better job exposing Hunch’s intelligence, particularly the statistical intelligence the system has acquired from the tens of millions of user feedback clicks collected over the past few months.

Here’s an example.  Suppose you are looking for a video game and you’re a brand new Hunch user – Hunch knows nothing about you (you can try this yourself by logging out and going to our video games topic).  You start by seeing a list of video games ranked by overall popularity among users:

start

Now suppose I answer the question on the left by clicking on XBox 360.  The list on the right then updates, showing only the most popular Xbox 360 games:

xbox

Since at this point I haven’t told Hunch anything about myself, this list is still just an un-personalized list of popular XBox 360 video games.  Now let’s try some basic personalization.  Suppose I start over and instead of answering which video game console I prefer, I click on “About me” tab:

q gender

and click on Male. The video game list then changes to show games that tend to be preferred by males:

male

This list is determined statistically from Hunch user responses.  For example, Fallout 3 rose to the #1 spot after I said I was male because Hunch user responses correlate liking Fallout 3 with being male:

Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 9.47.24 AM

This is obviously a very basic example of personalization.  Things get more interesting when you answer a series of questions and Hunch combines filters and statistical data on the fly, thereby giving you highly personalized and relevant results.

Another new feature is that if you click Yes or No next to a result:

Hunch will not only learn from your click – thereby getting smarter – it will also recompute the result list on the screen instantly.

For example, let’s start video games from the beginning again and click “No” next to the top result Brain Age.  Hunch then changes my result list to show more “hardcore” games that are statistically anti-correlated with Brain Age (a game hardcore gamers tend to think is “kiddie”):

Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 9.53.19 AM

Please feel free to give us any feedback on the new interface.

Categories: tech

3 replies »

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