The Evolution of Search at Mattr
The Influencers app was created as a pivot away from Mattr's previous focus the Brands App. The Brands App classified people by personality types and demographics based on social analysis. This allowed the user to gain insight about the types of people interacting with their brand online.
After over a year of iteration on the Brands App it became clear that the approach to persona creation and search was too watered down in the Brands app to be truly effective. While the Brands app displayed detailed stats at an aggregated level it did not allow the user to look at the content of individual people. It also needed a much deeper search interface to allow the user to exclude and weight search terms, as well as apply custom filters.
The Influencers app was created with advanced search at the heart of its design and conception. The Influencers app not only required a rethinking of how the user would search, but also the necessary changes in data storage, the technologies used in the app and cost considerations. The new advanced text search is powered by Elasticsearch. This not only allows for the necessary weighting and exclusion, but also uses a standard pattern for search operators.
Over the next year we iterated through different search locations and functionality until we finally found the best fit for us. The initial layout proved problematic as the search functionality and location still varied depending on context. We also had trouble with the large number of filters that were required for display.
To address these problems the current iteration moved the search to a consistent location site-wide. We hid the basic filters by default, displaying them only when the search is active. We created an advanced switch that allows for many of the filters to be hidden. We also made the search accessible using standard key combinations following the pattern created by Facebook.
The Mattr Influencers App is currently in use by tech innovators like RGA and eBay. It integrates with API's from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, Facebook and Tumblr and allows users to search in real time across 1 million Influencers with more than 600 million interactions.