I love like.com
(now this is what I call innovative search)

Like.com

Mary, my colleague who was in the room when Michael first sent me a link to Like.com can attest to how much I enjoyed playing with Like.com when I first saw it. And I’ve liked playing with it since then too! Within a short time from first hitting the site I had a few thousand dollars worth of shoes on my wishlist (I’m not telling how many of them I actually bought!). I’ve been looking at shoes online for a while now, and nothing else made me feel like a gal in a shoe shop as much as Like.com did.

You see, this is a site that *really* gives an online experience of what it’s like to try to find a pair of boots to buy that is anywhere near as rich as actually going to the shops and browsing (but without all the crowds and the hassle). In fact, it’s like being in the biggest and best organised shoe shop in the world. Your wish is their command.

I’ve been talking and thinking about the online shopping experience for ages now – talking (but strangely, not blogging yet!) about how the search and list style of presentation is so incredibly uninspiring, so empty, compared to the ‘toyshop’ type experience of real life shopping. In a real life shop, all the merchandise is arranged in a way that guides you into the experience, that moves you through the merchandise, that present similar types of merchandise together so that you can compare and contrast, and get a sense of what the current trends are.

Online shopping does none of this. Until Like.com, that is.

When I get to Like.com I have much more interesting paths into the merchandise than just choosing ‘boots’ or ‘casual’. Rather, I can get boots like Britney. That’s a much more exciting prospect. (Assuming, of course, that’s she’s not having a bad hair, track pants and ugg boots day!)

Then I get to see a whole stack of shoes that are kind of like Britney’s.

And then, I can tell Like.com to focus on a particular style of heel, and get me more shoes that have that kind of heel. Or I want that style, but can you find me some in red?

*sigh* It’s like having your own personal shoe shopper at your beck and call.

And as much as I adore the visual browsing (and I think it is browsing and not really searching), they then through in some fantastic faceted navigation, so that I can use a whole range of facets to further refine the range of shoes in view – from price range, to brand, to store, to heel style. So useful. So easy. Such a great way to finally find a few great pairs of boots.

(Sidebar: Can you see why all the boy bloggers have had so much trouble getting enthusiastic about Like.com? For once, they don’t have the domain knowledge to see how excellent it is. They much preferred the more geeky facial recognition that Riya was working on before.)

(Oooh, and while I’m tangenting, I have to say how the look of Like.com and the celebrity connection reminded me a lot of a great design/fashion site in Australia called Miijo)

Miijo

When I recently gave Ms Dewey a bit of a hard time, I got a few comments saying that I shouldn’t be criticising people who are trying to innovate. Well, here is an example of the kind of innovation I applaud. Here is a new way of approaching an old problem, of using technology innovatively, of taking a convention and making it better. And this innovation is good because it understands what the user is trying to do and it supports their experience and helps them achieve their tasks in a way that is better, more effective and more delightful than either the current online options OR the real life equivalent.

Go, have a play. Get yourself some Britney inspired boots. You’ll love it :)

11 Responses to “I love like.com
(now this is what I call innovative search)”

  1. James Mc Parlane November 10, 2006 at 4:51 am #

    I find like.com rather a rather appalling application of cutting edge computer science.

    I’m probably nothing like the target market but I find myself disgusted at people bragging about the ocean-boiling computing power required to allow people to purcase yet more trinkets that they don’t need.

    If anything the world needs technology to allow us to buy less.

    The only reason I would use this site would be to make sure that whatever I purchased had *not* been trussed on some dubious ‘star’ who’s only claim to fame is that they are famous for being famous and according to the gossip mags, have more problems and bad habits than average which is supposed to make me feel better about myself.

    If this site allowed me to guarantee that what I was about to purchase had not previously been sullied by one of those plague potatoes then I would gladly preach its usefulness.

    For now this site goes into my “now this is exactly what is wrong with the world today” bin.

  2. lelak November 10, 2006 at 6:23 am #

    Given you only own one pair of shoes, James, I’m not sure you’re their target audience.

  3. Cheryl November 10, 2006 at 6:52 am #

    James, wow that’s some powerful sentiment.

    Ahh well I’m happy to contribute to what’s wrong with the world cos I love this site – I’ve just wasted a good couple of hours playing with it and sent it around the office.

    It’s not so much the celebrity connection as they have endless funds to purchase new things but because I’m quite fussy about my clothes, shoes, etc, I usually have a good idea of what I want before I go shopping rather than shopping and seeing something I like. I get quite frustrated as what I want is never for sale or I’m a couple of seasons too late, and I have to really hunt for it.

    This site is great as I can say that I want brown knee high boots, with a stiletto heel and then shop based on look and price – something next to impossible to do in the shops in Australia as there isn’t that much volume. If I was in a shop I’d be grateful if they even sold a pair of boots, let alone the type I want.

    Curse you Lisa, I am never going to pay off my credit card at this rate!

  4. Cheryl November 10, 2006 at 6:53 am #

    Ooops sorry, Leisa, not Lisa. :)

  5. leisa.reichelt November 10, 2006 at 9:16 am #

    heh, James. I hear your point, but for as long as you continue to get your coffee from Starbucks, I’ll never be able to take it seriously :)

    oh, and what Lela said.

    oh, and I do *need* some of those brown knee highboots that Cheryl was talking about otherwise my legs and feet are SERIOUSLY going to freeze off. (Although, come to think of it, some of Britney’s ugg boots seem like an excellent plan right about now)

    I think this rather proves our point that you need a certain amount of domain knowledge to really get what’s cool about this site :)

  6. James Mc Parlane November 10, 2006 at 9:26 am #

    I may only have one pair of shoes, but I love them till they die! :)

  7. Mimi November 10, 2006 at 4:49 pm #

    I think the concept is brilliant, and I love the way you can adjust all the variables to get exactly what you’re looking for. What I don’t like is that to get the full experience you’re expected to ‘like’ something a celebrity is wearing. What if you generally hate celebs? :P Generic model pics would be ok but I guess they wouldn’t be as much of a drawcard… If pushed, I guess I’d say people like Kate Beckinsale and Kate Winslett are ok :) – but where are they? I’m afraid people Britney and Paris really don’t do it for me (sorry Leisa!).

  8. leisa.reichelt November 11, 2006 at 10:40 am #

    heh. that’s ok Mimi. I wouldn’t *really* use Britney as a fashion role model :) and I agree that the trick with this approach is that you need to have celebs that have a style similar to one you might contemplate (and most of the red carpet get out isn’t going to do that).

    But – the celeb focussed entry point is just one of the options in. You can just go in via Browse Shoes or Browse Handbags if you want to find your own style :) I just think the celeb entry point is an interesting one, and I think it will work for a lot of people some of the time.

  9. craig November 11, 2006 at 1:30 pm #

    I had to laugh that the entire post was ultimately about shoes, shoes and getting more shoes! Like shoes are the ultimate use case. :) Hmmm, I do need some new shoes…

    Also I can’t help but think about Barry Schwartz’s talk on why more is less and what it means for decision making. With so much more choice now, how are you gals ever going to make your mind up and choose which red strapless shoe you want when they’re all so alike? Most woman I know are terrible at decision making as things stand!
    But hell so long as people know what they want, can find it, it’s all good.

  10. Matt July 2, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

    Well thats a pretty impressive site ill give them that. But i really dont think you can beat going back to basics as far as shoe shopping is concerned!

    Matt

  11. DVD Ripper August 3, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Is really functional. it fits me well. thanks for sharing. i will be used to visit.