April 29, 2008
I’d like to see more implementations of faceting that allow exclusionary choices.
Here’s an example of something I came across recently – I was looking for a new external hard drive. I knew the size (500Gb) and the connection (USB), but I didn’t know the other ways it was classified. So off I went to a variety of suppliers and searched under Hard Drives for 500Gb USB models.
Was I after an “External Desktop Drive” or “Portable Hard Drive”? No idea. What I did know was that I wasn’t after a “2.5in Laptop Drive” or a “Network Storage Device”, but there was no way to tell the site that. I had to search both categories individually and make my own comparisions by swapping back and forth.
You could look at this as a failure in the classification structure of the site, which it is to some extent, but this is a use case that shouldn’t be ignored. Consider Amazon – they’ve got comprehensive and well-structured categories, but sometimes when I’m looking for a book I want to see every category except the children’s books.