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Show HN: A news search engine – need feedback (readrz.com)
14 points by avaku on Nov 2, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

The circular nav thing is cool, on first glance, but it ends up harming the actual usability of the app. Nevermind the difficulty of reading radial layouts, it pushes all of the actual content below the fold.

It's a cool widget, but one that is likely to confuse users on top of obfuscating the content

Thanks danso,

One problem I had is that I need to keep users by giving them first impression that this is something new. Otherwise, they think "ah, another news aggregator"... I could possibly push the content for flow on the right of the first circle, what do you think?

The key thing is that the algo allows very precise hierarchic classification of any texts. It is unmatched by anything available on the market. Think that it can automatically find such things as articles related to US Politics, or Human Rights. Any ideas how I can prominently feature these ideas?

Congratulations on putting this out there and on the courage needed to tackle a new design. There's a lot of hard work here.

- Would removing text make the UI clearer? I wish the black readrs margin was completely gone, along with the grey search bar underneath it. And in return the search circle became bigger.

- The most striking change compared to a Google Search is that it forces you to change your perspective on what's important to search for. I find myself pausing most of the time. This is probably more of a good sign than it originally appears. It fights off the urge of the fingers to type. One more reason to put the search bar out of sight.

- This is probably an indulgence: I wished it could show me things going on around where I live. Like a TimeOut magazine. I see there's an Entertainment section, but it doesn't seem to work using my IP address for geolocation.

I love it! I can't wait to see what comes next.

Hi read, thanks a lot!

- I think you're right. I am already hiding the top bar when you scroll a bit down. Should probably move the search box. How about the following crazy idea - I was thinking to have another mode when all you see is keywords. That would allow even faster overview of everything. You could see articles on "mouse hover". What do you think?

- Yeah, this is a double-sided sword. It's kind of google, asking you first - so what do you want? Instead of showing you everything. I should probably show summary of everything at first, but I decided to go with just a circle on the front page for now - to increase impression that this is something new. Great advice though, thank you!

- No geolocation for now, sorry. I am a single founder, so if I find some financing, I will put this on top of the list ;)

Thanks again! I can't wait too ;)

Seeing all keywords is another cool idea. I'd love to try it.

People don't ask enough the question 'what do you want'.

Now I'll have to recover my old GUI... Should not have listened to the wrong people, and instead kept it as an alternative... Thank you!!

Love the navigation ! Really easy and fast, and my eyes are only focused on this area. Very cool. Two comments : - Why do the results open in a new tab ? Is there something I'm not understanding definitely rename "related" with something like "sub-section" or "add filter". Great job !

Thanks Alex! The reason results open in a new tab, is because any keyword you click results in a new "search". For that search, a new summary is calculated and displayed "with the same interface". I haven't had time to design how this could be done by expanding within the current page. But it definitely should be done, you're right!

I am thinking to apply this to books and movie abstracts too. Any other ideas? Apart from obviously classifying HN comments :)))

Have you thought about building an API to let websites use it with their own content ? Also, a search engine would be pretty cool ;) Instead of clicking on an item in circle #1 and then sub-section in circle #2, user could type his own keyword in circle #1 and add his own sub-section in circle #2. Obviously you can already do this on Google using + and all the others signs, but I'm pretty sure a lot of people do not know how to use it.

I thought about the API - this is a good idea. I was thinking that I also can do a widget that people could put on their website. For example, they could put: "Top news mentioning USA in Finance category". I think that would be really useful for a lot of websites. However, no time for this now. Improving design based on feedback and looking for investors.

I didn't really get your idea about search engine. You can already type anything you want in the search bar at the top. The results then can be further categorized.

P.S. Too bad HN doesn't send out notification when someone replies, I missed your comment three days ago.

It seems to be impossible to get an uncluttered view of U.S. sports stories. When I clicked on Sports on the left, some U.S. stories did appear, but they were buried among UK-based pieces. To narrow it down, on the right I clicked Countries and then Americas. I was left with 2 items: one about a UK team scouting a Brazilian soccer player, and one non-sports story about a cellist.

Sorry about that. I think I don't have enough sources for US sport. I have tried the following. Search for "US" and then select section "Sport". But obviously, by "US sport" you don't mean only articles that mention "US" explicitly. So I would need to have a fuzzy classifier for US Sport. I will actually do it, but it will require more work. Thanks for a useful data point in feedback!

Core: automatic hierarchical classification

Potential subject areas: news, movies, books...

Feedback needed: GUI, subject areas, anything

Nice concept, but I'm a little unsure of two things: what is the difference between section and related, and what does the 1day pulldown mean at the top of the page?

Once you select a section, you can cross it with a different section. For example, select "Countries" and in related "Disasters". The reason it's called related, is because it's conditional on your first selection.

1 day pulldown allows you to choose different summarization period. You could for example choose 3 days, and section "Countries - Europe" - that would select top news for you within the last 3 days, arranged by countries in Europe.

Any ideas how I can make this clearer?

Thanks - that clarifies it. Would I be right in thinking its a visual way of doing faceted search? If so, maybe the issue is the word "related" - not sure what the best option would be. Possibily 'topic' and 'subtopic'?

For the day pulldown, the first thought to come to mind is that it is dependant on the specific search being performed - and not global across all searches.

Yeah, possibly "Topic" and "Subtopic" is a good idea, but not sure how this will work for a general user.

The dropdown - it should work like you say, I just didn't have the time to implement it that way - nor position it better on the page.

The thing is that I can apply this auto-classification to anything. Can also create custom categories for any text collection. Any ideas for potential applications?

Looks like you're grabbing only economical news. I see only stocks, trading and finance.

Go to the front page, and select in the circle:

"Business > Sectors > Technology" - does it work?

Question: now many visitors from HN it takes to disable your system :)

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