yo wrote:Thanks for the feedback Richard. There is a little product recommendation tray that pops out if you click any of the speaker icons or the button in the upper right but my feedback to the team that built it is that the default state on the tray needs to be switched to displayed vs hidden. We need to make that change ASAP.
Also we need to scrub the database on the recommendations. Buying speakers is pretty confusing for a lot of folks, we are trying to make it simpler. It is definitely a harder task that I anticipated when we began that design process.
Keeping the tray out would help. Also never noticed the top tabs of Best Price/Match/Sound. Having some sort of rating for each speaker might also help, or ability to compare based on some characteristics. I have no idea for example what the difference is between a DI 6.5 and 5.5 and/or what are the tradeoffs or why it picked the ones it did for each suggestion. With something so complex and so many variables going the recommendation route I image must have taken some leap of faith and convincing of sales people who like to use complex charts and specs do the talking. Interesting use of a customization tool for something that is more function and selection than customization per se.
Assuming the customization is one mostly of form/color/look (as opposed to mainly function like picking speakers) I see a few different approaches.
The "top down" vs. "bottom up" concept is interesting and something I'm exploring. Most configurators let you build bottom up, choosing each part/color/spec. You get what you want by fiddling, but also may not have a good idea of what is possible or what the end result is when you are starting.
A "big picture" approach is one alternative (sorta like the Polk site) is to get the user to choose by "end result/effect" and then use that as a starting point for fine tuning (something missing in the Polk example I find). Another example I found is the Spotfiy UI getting you to choose music my "mood" (ie. party, chill sunday, etc.). This may feel less custom, perhaps but does it give a more satisfying result and less frustrating process? Sorta personal curation exercise more than customization perhaps.
Another alternative I'm looking at is the "top down" where you actually somehow start with ALL (or most) of the combinations and permutations and then dive in to fine tune or further filter those results at every step.
Imagine for example that there are 5,000,000 combinations of Ferrari color/interior/rim/spolier permutations. Would it make sense to start with ALL, but filter quickly by exterior color? If I know I want a red ferrari, the first step of picking an exterior color is a waste of time, and it's not until I get into the nitty gritty details can I see what I want. If I can see at once all the red ferraris, it's an easier task to CHOOSE the one I like, instead of making it from scratch. Especially since most people are not a designer and can't imagine an option until they actually see it. While it may feel less like customization and more like personal selection, I'm wondering if it could be more satisfying, quicker and easier to also show the breadth of what is possible?