The architecture of information:
Kait Sanchez, reporting for The Verge:
Pinterest is launching a search tool to help people narrow their hair inspiration searches by hair pattern. When users search for hairstyles, new filter options — for coily, curly, wavy, and straight textures, as well as shaved / bald and protective styles — will appear under the search bar.
As I read this, I was wondering how they’d tag the various hairstyles. The answer, of course, is machine learning:
Pinterest says the hair pattern feature uses “computer vision-powered object detection” to determine which hair types are shown in hairstyle pins. “We built hair pattern search with in-house AI on top of our foundational computer vision technology that is used in visual search and shopping,” says a Pinterest spokesperson. The company says its algorithm has detected hair patterns in over 500 million images on the platform.
There was a time, around twenty years ago, when information architecture was a central concern for designers working in digital media. You don’t hear designers talking as much about IA these days, but it’s more important than ever.
As software eats more of the world, we share more aspects of human experience through digital systems. People are interested in hairstyles. Why not have a search interface that makes them more findable?