Building a better search engine for Vlisco Stories. My workspace for the day is Nomadz, the friendliest coworking office this side of the equator.

July 17th, 2013, 4pm

It was 25°C with nil significant cloud. The breeze was light.

Stories [1] is a site we setup to collect and share stories about Vlisco fabrics. Fabrics that while made in the Netherlands are sold mostly in the African market. Since these fabrics are very graphical visual things we opted to focus on a very visual presentation. Things like search were implemented as an afterthought. In time we found out more and more that the fabric names had a life of their own with different countries and even tribes preferring their local ‘official’ name for certain patterns.

When people come into a store asking for the King’s Chair we should at least know which fabric they are talking about and hopefully even collect the story that explains the name. Text based search is still one of the best interfaces for, well.. text so that is what i hope to improve by implementing better search functionality, using tested off-the-shelf tools [2], for this project.

So far the experience has been promising and much, much easier than i had expected up front. I guess i’ll have to update this post when it’s actually live now…


Cassie, Robin and Craig said thanks.

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Tijs Teulings

Creative Technologist, Dad and special ops.

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