Sunday, March 19th, 2006

WatchThisNext: Drag-And-Drop DVD Recommendations

Category: Showcase, UI uses Ajax to provide a variation on the theme of collaborative filtering that has been offered in the past by sites like Gnovies.

[I]t’s basically Amazon web services + prototype/scriptaculous for the AJAX & the effects. The result is drag n’ drop dvd recommendations, which is hopefully a really quick interface to finding a DVD.

You simply drag each DVD title into one of “Loved It”, “Haven’t Seen It”, and “Hated It” and new DVDs will appear for further categorisation. These new DVDs will usually be recommendations based on your previous choices.

The drag-and-drop interface is possibly slower than just checking a multi-choice list, but some people might find it more fun. In any event, there’s potential to create some more useful features with the drag-and-drop, like changing your preferences by dragging a DVD from one box to another.

The creator also commented that it’s difficult to let users know they have to drag, a topic we covered a few months back.

Interestingly, still can’t find anything that beats “you can drag this” type text for letting people know there are draggable elements… visual cues just don’t seem to do it.

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 4:11 pm

3.1 rating from 30 votes


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I love the idea but the algorithm isn’t very smart yet. As soon as you drag something into the ‘i liked it’ category your stuck with selections from that particular genre. If it did a litlle more infusion with ‘fresh’ content so you get a more mixed profile it would be way more useful. And it should save the current selections since it’s real easy to click the film and go to amazon by accident thus losing your profile. Kudos for the idea though.

Comment by Tijs — March 20, 2006

This is actually a good example of when *not* to use drag and drop.

There is a much simpler way to do this. Netflix, Yahoo! and many others provide a simple Ratings widget (

Why is the rating an object pattern better in this case? Because it takes one click instead of click, drag, aim and drop. You can still animate the movies into your the three buckets shown if that is necessary in the interface. And its a heck of a lot easier and faster for the user to blow through lots of recommendations.

General rule. Don’t use drag and drop to manage a single attribute about an object.

Comment by Bill Scott — March 20, 2006

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