KC Lemson

By KC Lemson [MS]

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I guess I'm a software snob

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But boy, do I wish that Safeway would prioritize the featureset of their website better... specifically, they need to prioritize "Stuff KC wants" at the top. Their search engine - i.e. the way I find 90% of the things I'm looking for when shopping for groceries online - tries to be smart. It shouldn't.

I looked for 'tropicana' and it found me lots of items with 'tropical' in them. I really don't need stemming for brand names.

I looked for 'raisins' and it listed every single product with any form of dried grape product in them. Perhaps it could have prioritized based on product name length - e.g. put "Seedless Raisins" at the top of the list, and "kraft cinnamon raisin south beach diet cereal bars" near the bottom.

And for goodness' sake, I don't need Sounds Like in a grocery store search engine. I looked for raisins. I do not want RIESEN!

On a related note, last week I looked for "booty" on safeway.com[1] and the second hit was toilet paper. That's all I'm sayin'.

[1] Veggie Booty, in case you were wondering. A perfectly wonderful snack.
Comments
  • This is one of the fundimental flaws in search technology: old-school computer science was working so hard on how to build search functionality that finds enough results... however, the real challenge now days is findin the RIGHT results. The goal has changed, and many developers haven't caught up.

  • I just can't get my mind around a Grocery store "Sounds like" search engine. Back home (in Mississippi where i spent a year as a vegetarian), i could see someone typing in "tofu" and getting back "Did you mean, kung-pao chicken?" Ah, I crack myself up. =)

  • I ran across this today:

    http://reilly.typepad.com/cameronreilly/2004/11/owa_inside_fire.html

    How come OWA _still_ sucks in firefox? I mean, firefox is well known among web developers to be vastly superior than internet explorer... it's no longer "Damn, now i have to make it work in Netscape too", it's "Man, it looks and works fine in Firefox... what the hell is wrong with internet explorer?". I mean, firefox's JavaScript+HTML (I hate saying DHTML) could handle it alone... not to mention XUL. I guess it wouldn't be to smart for MS to write software for a product that competes with theirs.

    By the way, congrats on the son... i have 2 daughters of my own.

    Oh, and one more thing:

    http://kwotes.org/kwotes.pl?action=show&id=166

    :P


  • Time for a Microsoft answer: You're not the target market for the search engine. Their main scenario is people who can't type and really want South Beath Riesling Muffins.

    [love you, by the way. gotta admit that MS products have the exact same effect on users at time though]

  • JD: Oh I don't deny it, i'm not only a software maker, I'm a user :-) The joy and challenges of the job is in taking your & others' experiences as users and making the software better.

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