We're currently examining revamping the interface for browsing for products by category. We currently use a "top picks" concept, that is driven by the competitor head-to-head community voting. To be blunt, I don't think it's working. Have a look at the top pick in Televisions. It is biased towards older products, and doesn't accurately reflect the fantastic resource of newer plasmas and LCDs that are on ProductWiki.
Personally, I believe the standard list of products with sorting is a better paradigm (at least in the short term). In the same TV example, I think this list is a better experience. However, I think it's ugly. Can we come up with something that's better?
Here are some options I see:
- Top picks (status quo)
- List view with improved look-and-feel, sorting and filtering
- What sort options should be available? (best rated, popular, recent, price, name)
- How can we calculate "best rated" and "popular"?
- What should be the default sort?
- What should the list look like? (I'm leaning towards matching the style of the home page)
- What information should be in the list (pros/cons, competitors, price, summary, image, etc.)
- Would search functionality be useful within the list (ie. search HDMI 1.3a within a/v receivers)?
- Category specific recent changes
- look at a feed of recent activity within a category
I think that option 2 would be the best, but there are a few questions remaining. I like the idea of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) being applied in this case, so a consistent interface would be nice.