Time Machine Shopping

25 Jan 2007 - 2:17pm
7 years ago
20 replies
969 reads
Daniel Williams
2005

What do people think of the time machine interface of the following site:
http://www.etsy.com/

http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php

I really like it and I really hate it.... I like the way it looks and feels
and also how it is playful and the way it encourages exploration, but I
can't help but think that if I was seriously shopping then this would just
annoy me.

Thoughts?

(P.S some background music would be good... as long as i had control over it
of course)

Comments

25 Jan 2007 - 2:33pm
Arias, Jovino
2006

>From a usability standpoint: Weak sauce! You can only go in one
direction and images overlap each other so it's damn near impossible to
get to something that is immediately behind the one you click on.

>From a design standpoint: it's a fun way to display things in a
non-standard timeline format that is playful and unusual.

jovino
falcon studios

25 Jan 2007 - 2:37pm
Arias, Jovino
2006

I take that back... I just located the fwd/back arrows BELOW THE FOLD of
my larger-than-the-average-user -sized monitor. Still, kinda weak. Move
them arrows up, yo!

jovino
falcon studios

25 Jan 2007 - 2:40pm
Daniel Williams
2005

The mouse wheel works well also

On 1/25/07, Arias, Jovino <jovino at falconstudios.com> wrote:
>
> I take that back... I just located the fwd/back arrows BELOW THE FOLD of
> my larger-than-the-average-user -sized monitor. Still, kinda weak. Move
> them arrows up, yo!
>
> jovino
> falcon studios
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25 Jan 2007 - 2:41pm
Lorne Trudeau
2006

Initially I didn't get it at all. Yes it was kind of fun to play with
the photos, but who's history is it showing? Certainly not mine.
However, once I looked around the site a bit more, I realized that the
whole site is about discovery and exploration. You can find products by
tags, material, colour, geographic location, interpersonal
relationships, category, and (in this case) time. Their catalog of
products is simply so big that they are forced to experiment. Suddenly
it made a lot more sense.
The key is that I don't really know what you mean by "seriously
shopping". If you mean "I am considering purchasing something for the
site" then no, I don't think it would annoy me. However, if you mean "I
want to find a handbag for my girlfriend" then the time machine wouldn't
work very well. But it isn't meant to.
As to the background music ... I think it could work quite well. Perhaps
even some wind sound effects and shuffling of photos as you whip them
out of your way. Good times! (nice trolling with the music comment BTW)
Lorne
P.S. Thanks for the link, it looks like a great site.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dan
Williams
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:18 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

What do people think of the time machine interface of the following
site:
http://www.etsy.com/

http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php

I really like it and I really hate it.... I like the way it looks and
feels
and also how it is playful and the way it encourages exploration, but I
can't help but think that if I was seriously shopping then this would
just
annoy me.

Thoughts?

(P.S some background music would be good... as long as i had control
over it
of course)
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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25 Jan 2007 - 2:46pm
Daniel Williams
2005

It would be good to be able to filter the time line by facets or traits. so
show me all 'bags' that would be helpful also. It may already provide this
feature and I have just not found it as of yet.

On 1/25/07, Lorne Trudeau <lorne.trudeau at number41media.com> wrote:
>
> Initially I didn't get it at all. Yes it was kind of fun to play with
> the photos, but who's history is it showing? Certainly not mine.
> However, once I looked around the site a bit more, I realized that the
> whole site is about discovery and exploration. You can find products by
> tags, material, colour, geographic location, interpersonal
> relationships, category, and (in this case) time. Their catalog of
> products is simply so big that they are forced to experiment. Suddenly
> it made a lot more sense.
> The key is that I don't really know what you mean by "seriously
> shopping". If you mean "I am considering purchasing something for the
> site" then no, I don't think it would annoy me. However, if you mean "I
> want to find a handbag for my girlfriend" then the time machine wouldn't
> work very well. But it isn't meant to.
> As to the background music ... I think it could work quite well. Perhaps
> even some wind sound effects and shuffling of photos as you whip them
> out of your way. Good times! (nice trolling with the music comment BTW)
> Lorne
> P.S. Thanks for the link, it looks like a great site.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dan
> Williams
> Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:18 AM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping
>
> What do people think of the time machine interface of the following
> site:
> http://www.etsy.com/
>
> http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php
>
> I really like it and I really hate it.... I like the way it looks and
> feels
> and also how it is playful and the way it encourages exploration, but I
> can't help but think that if I was seriously shopping then this would
> just
> annoy me.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> (P.S some background music would be good... as long as i had control
> over it
> of course)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
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> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

25 Jan 2007 - 2:56pm
Tracy Boyington
2007

Cool feature, wrong application. If I'm shopping for something, I might
shop by price, or size, or keyword. Shopping by the date a product
became available is pretty irrelevant. I can think of some fun uses (all
of your Flickr photos in chronological order? a historical timeline?)
but this particular instance is more of an "ooooh, look what we can
do."

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> "Dan Williams" <dgwillia at googlemail.com> 01/25/07 1:17 PM >>>
What do people think of the time machine interface of the following
site:
http://www.etsy.com/

http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php

25 Jan 2007 - 3:13pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I love neaarly every iteration I have seen from etsy. It is fun, imaginative and visually stimulating. I have never purchased anything as a result of playing there. Which brings up to thoughts. The first... does playing and exploring, as on etsy, qualify as a goal in GDD? Second, we have been looking at the cool things etsy does, admiringly, and we have yet to come up with a consumer behavior, navigations, or expereince rational for including anything like it in our shopping channel. I think our channels tend to assume a research aproach to shopping instead of an explore approach. That may be the business models driving.

Mark

>What do people think of the time machine interface of the following site:
>http://www.etsy.com/

25 Jan 2007 - 3:15pm
Lorne Trudeau
2006

Why is the date a product came available irrelevant? Particularly in
fashion it is important for many people to be trend setters. That is
strictly time dependant. I can think of any number of reasons I might
want to know what the latest and greatest products out there are. Heck,
right on the Amazon homepage: "New for 2007".

I find that comment very shortsighted.

A more appropriate question would be: given I want to find the latest
products, is this an effective way of doing so?

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Tracy Boyington
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:57 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Cool feature, wrong application. If I'm shopping for something, I might
shop by price, or size, or keyword. Shopping by the date a product
became available is pretty irrelevant. I can think of some fun uses (all
of your Flickr photos in chronological order? a historical timeline?)
but this particular instance is more of an "ooooh, look what we can
do."

25 Jan 2007 - 3:32pm
Tracy Boyington
2007

You're not talking about the latest release of a cell phone, or a
digital camera, or a video game. You're talking about one pair of
costume jewelry earrings that were released 2 minutes before another,
completely different, pair. Or, even less germane, a pair of earrings
that were released 2 minutes after a giant orange flower made out of
paper. Of all the factors I might be screening for when shopping for
earrings, "whether it was released before or after that giant orange
paper flower" is pretty close to the bottom. ;-) It just seems
irrelevant for this particular shopping experience.

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> Lorne Trudeau <lorne.trudeau at number41media.com> 01/25/07 2:15 PM
>>>
Why is the date a product came available irrelevant? Particularly in
fashion it is important for many people to be trend setters. That is
strictly time dependant. I can think of any number of reasons I might
want to know what the latest and greatest products out there are.
Heck,
right on the Amazon homepage: "New for 2007".

I find that comment very shortsighted.

A more appropriate question would be: given I want to find the latest
products, is this an effective way of doing so?

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Tracy Boyington
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:57 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Cool feature, wrong application. If I'm shopping for something, I
might
shop by price, or size, or keyword. Shopping by the date a product
became available is pretty irrelevant. I can think of some fun uses
(all
of your Flickr photos in chronological order? a historical timeline?)
but this particular instance is more of an "ooooh, look what we can
do."

25 Jan 2007 - 3:35pm
Lana Carlene
2007

This is a site I've bookmarked later for "play-browsing" (although I did
get drawn into playing with the Geo-locater for a good 5 min!). I'd
probably only use this site when I'm looking for a gift, no parameters
but price driving my decision.

I'm guessing these features are effective for e-comm "mini-sites" to
targeted audiences within the more "traditional" site -- like Target's
"Red Hot Shop" --
http://sites.target.com/site/en/spot/page.jsp?title=redhotshop
________________________________
Lana Carlene | Metia

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Mark Schraad
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:13 PM
To: Dan Williams
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

I love neaarly every iteration I have seen from etsy. It is fun,
imaginative and visually stimulating. I have never purchased anything as
a result of playing there. Which brings up to thoughts. The first...
does playing and exploring, as on etsy, qualify as a goal in GDD?
Second, we have been looking at the cool things etsy does, admiringly,
and we have yet to come up with a consumer behavior, navigations, or
expereince rational for including anything like it in our shopping
channel. I think our channels tend to assume a research aproach to
shopping instead of an explore approach. That may be the business models
driving.

Mark

25 Jan 2007 - 4:05pm
Lorne Trudeau
2006

Seasons are time based. What you're saying is that the granularity of
the tool reduces its effectiveness. I can agree with that.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vermette, Joan [mailto:Joan.Vermette at fmr.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:26 PM
To: Lorne Trudeau; Tracy Boyington; discuss at ixda.org
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Oh come now...fashions don't change by the MINUTE. Seasonally, yes.

25 Jan 2007 - 4:11pm
Lorne Trudeau
2006

That's my point. If you are shopping for earrings then you are using the
wrong tool: go to the categories section of the website.

However, it is an extremely common shopping methodology to look through
the latest products (and certainly NOT limited to electronics). Show me
what's new. Show me what just arrived. It's the "..shopping by the date
a product became available is pretty irrelevant..." comment that I
disagree with.

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: Tracy Boyington [mailto:tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:32 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org; Lorne Trudeau
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

You're not talking about the latest release of a cell phone, or a
digital camera, or a video game. You're talking about one pair of
costume jewelry earrings that were released 2 minutes before another,
completely different, pair. Or, even less germane, a pair of earrings
that were released 2 minutes after a giant orange flower made out of
paper. Of all the factors I might be screening for when shopping for
earrings, "whether it was released before or after that giant orange
paper flower" is pretty close to the bottom. ;-) It just seems
irrelevant for this particular shopping experience.

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

25 Jan 2007 - 4:30pm
Tracy Boyington
2007

<shrug> If they provide that tool to shop for earrings, I can only
presume they meant for me to use it to shop for earrings. And I think
it's not very effective for that. If I did want to know which earrings
arrived recently, it doesn't give me that option - I can only see which
products, of all different types, arrived recently. If you really
believe that when shopping for earrings (or giant orange paper flowers
or anything else on this particular site), knowing which one arrived
minutes before a *completely different product* is relevant, we'll have
to agree to disagree. As I said, I *can* think of several good uses for
this particular feature. Just not this one.

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> Lorne Trudeau <lorne.trudeau at number41media.com> 01/25/07 3:11 PM
>>>
That's my point. If you are shopping for earrings then you are using
the
wrong tool: go to the categories section of the website.

However, it is an extremely common shopping methodology to look
through
the latest products (and certainly NOT limited to electronics). Show
me
what's new. Show me what just arrived. It's the "..shopping by the
date
a product became available is pretty irrelevant..." comment that I
disagree with.

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: Tracy Boyington [mailto:tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:32 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org; Lorne Trudeau
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

You're not talking about the latest release of a cell phone, or a
digital camera, or a video game. You're talking about one pair of
costume jewelry earrings that were released 2 minutes before another,
completely different, pair. Or, even less germane, a pair of earrings
that were released 2 minutes after a giant orange flower made out of
paper. Of all the factors I might be screening for when shopping for
earrings, "whether it was released before or after that giant orange
paper flower" is pretty close to the bottom. ;-) It just seems
irrelevant for this particular shopping experience.

25 Jan 2007 - 3:26pm
jayeffvee
2007

Oh come now...fashions don't change by the MINUTE. Seasonally, yes.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Lorne Trudeau
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 3:15 PM
To: Tracy Boyington; discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Why is the date a product came available irrelevant? Particularly in
fashion it is important for many people to be trend setters. That is
strictly time dependant. I can think of any number of reasons I might
want to know what the latest and greatest products out there are. Heck,
right on the Amazon homepage: "New for 2007".

I find that comment very shortsighted.

A more appropriate question would be: given I want to find the latest
products, is this an effective way of doing so?

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Tracy Boyington
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:57 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Cool feature, wrong application. If I'm shopping for something, I might
shop by price, or size, or keyword. Shopping by the date a product
became available is pretty irrelevant. I can think of some fun uses (all
of your Flickr photos in chronological order? a historical timeline?)
but this particular instance is more of an "ooooh, look what we can
do."
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
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Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
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25 Jan 2007 - 4:25pm
jayeffvee
2007

Yes, that's what I'm saying; I apologize for saying it so abruptly.

Now where a time machine WOULD be brilliantly useful in the context of
shopping is for me to be able to see the price fluxuations of specific
items of vintage Fiesta dinnerware on eBay since eBay's inception --
though a visual more like a stock chart would be more helpful, there.
Are Fiesta prices seasonal? If so, I could plan my collecting
accordingly. Are onion soup cups getting posted less and less
frequently? Then perhaps I should nab the one that's posted, despite
the price -- onion soups might be becoming more rare...

Also, if I were doing shopping for single, known item collectables, and
I come back to the site frequently to watch for new items, then it might
be more important for me to learn in a more real-time sort of way what's
getting posted for sale, as the Etsy machine does.

So, if you could narrow Etsy's time machine down to "beaded necklaces"
or "superwashed sock wool", then it really could be useful to someone, I
think.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Lorne Trudeau
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 4:05 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Seasons are time based. What you're saying is that the granularity of
the tool reduces its effectiveness. I can agree with that.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vermette, Joan [mailto:Joan.Vermette at fmr.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:26 PM
To: Lorne Trudeau; Tracy Boyington; discuss at ixda.org
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Time Machine Shopping

Oh come now...fashions don't change by the MINUTE. Seasonally, yes.
________________________________________________________________
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26 Jan 2007 - 9:37am
DrWex
2006

I find it insanely frustrating that the damned thing won't sit still
unless I hold down the mouse. Or at least it's not intuitive to me
how to make that happen. I find holding down a mouse button to be
tiring and I got sufficiently frustrated with the thing I gave up in
under 2 minutes.

I'm probably way off the curve of the typical user, but... bleh. If I
was viewing some kind of museum display with a UI like this I might
enjoy it more. On the other hand, I had a similar experience in
London when going to view the crown jewels. In order to prevent
crowding there, you must stand on conveyer belts that move past the
display cases at fixed speeds. You can take several rides around, but
you cannot stop to admire any one piece that catches your eye.
Not a highlight of my museum experience.

26 Jan 2007 - 10:25am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

For me, the time machine worked in a completely different and unexpected
way.

The first image I saw was an illustration from someone I went to college
with, which brought up a bunch of memories, thus a time machine!

And I will buy something, for what that's worth.

Bill

29 Jan 2007 - 4:14pm
Teresa Torres
2006

Etsy is a site for handcrafted items. I would guess that most of
their audience is looking to browse and is not searching for a
specific item. How often do you think, "Oh, I'd love to find a red
handcrafted pot holder." Probably not very often. But if you come
across one that you love in a store, you might buy it.

Etsy's interface is designed for browsing. I think they've introduced
a lot of fun ways to do that. They had browse by color long before
anyone else did. The time machine, imo, is a great way to browse
products that don't have a lot of the traditional specs that most
manufactured products have.

Shopping in the real world is often a fun exploratory / discovery
process. Shopping online is usually faceted and goal driven (with a
specific product in mind). I think Etsy is doing a great job of
trying to bring some of the fun and discovery of real-world shopping
to the web. They may not have perfected every interaction, but I
definitely appreciate their efforts.

Teresa

On Jan 25, 2007, at 11:56 AM, Tracy Boyington wrote:

> Cool feature, wrong application. If I'm shopping for something, I
> might
> shop by price, or size, or keyword. Shopping by the date a product
> became available is pretty irrelevant. I can think of some fun uses
> (all
> of your Flickr photos in chronological order? a historical timeline?)
> but this particular instance is more of an "ooooh, look what we can
> do."
>
> ~~~~~
> Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
> Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
> Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc
>
>
>>>> "Dan Williams" <dgwillia at googlemail.com> 01/25/07 1:17 PM >>>
> What do people think of the time machine interface of the following
> site:
> http://www.etsy.com/
>
> http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

30 Jan 2007 - 4:33am
maglez@btintern...
2006

Good Flash effects.

My first thought was that the purpose of the site should be to sell products, not to delight
visitors, convert visitors into buyers instead of give them something to play with. The Colours
browsing system didn't give me what I expected, when choosing pink I expected to get some girlish
stuff, blue for boys, red for hotties.

My second thought wasn't so bad since after those imaginative browsing methods, you also can
browse by categories so both audiences, those that doesn't know what they want and those that know
what they want, are served, so well done.

I guess that it must be pretty difficult to classify this kind of stuff, they are so unique and
different, that not matter how you classify them they won't fall in any standard category. Those
staff are for impulsive buyers, in the real world, those people that pass by a shop, see something
different that brings them memories of someone and so buy it for that person to engross the
millions pounds on non-wanted presents.

I like the buy by location since that will give me shorter delivery times as cheapest delivery, I
guess.

Miguel Gonzalez.

4 Feb 2007 - 6:03pm
Scott Bower
2006

It is a few years old and was the inspiration for countless new
interaction paradigms. No UX team, the designers were the stakeholders.
The time machine is real interesting when combined with a geo-locator
to visualize world news events that evolve over years, it is great that
I can point clients to an example to help them think about
abstractoins. Just take some of those ideas out of shopping and you can
do some amazing things. I am struggling to remember the last time i did
a keyword search when i was standing inside a Target store. Wonder how
RFID hacking in physical stores in a year will compare to tweaking your
code to get a number one listing on Google these days. But thats
another topic..

One person did the time machine, 4 people built the site, did the code
and run the company. To bad designers like Jared Tarbell and Marius
Watz don't get on lists like this. They are to busy doing....

scott

>
> http://www.etsy.com/time_machine.php
>
>
> Thoughts?
>

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