The Trustious Experience: Highlights

When you log into Trustious, you will be greeted by a set of, what we call, Highlights. These are products and places that match your interests and preferences selected just for you! We all want to find the good stuff out there, right? Well, now the good stuff finds you!

The screenshot above, shows my highlights. Yours will look similar except that the highlights themselves will likely be very different. We wanted to keep the experience as simple as possible. We, therefore, opted for a highly visual interface where we only show the item’s average rating, the opinions of the people you trust on that item as well as the item’s name and category. Clicking on any of your highlights, you are taken to the item’s page where you find more information. You can reach your highlights at anytime by clicking the Home button on the navigation bar.

You may be asking but how does it work? We don’t want to risk alienating anyone so we will suffice with a general intuition here and keep the technical details to a later post. The basic idea is that Trustious learns what your interests and preferences are then highlights items that match.

You could set your interests manually by specifying what you are interested in but you don’t have to, Trustious will infer your interests from your activity. For instance; if your interaction is mostly with Novels and Video Games, then your highlights will mostly be dominated by Novels and Video Games.

When you express an opinion about something on Trustious, you give it a rating relative to pertinent items you rated earlier. Trustious infers your preferences form those opinions and to a lesser extent from the opinions of the people you trust. Every opinion you express, gives Trustious a better appreciation of your taste and hence improves the quality of your highlights.

The remaining piece of the puzzle is how does Trustious actually highlight for you a Dessert that you would love or a Gym that you would be interested in going to (to burn off those calories from that dessert)? In simple terms, Trustious attempts to estimate your ratings of items that you haven’t rated yet. This is done by taking the ratings of other people and weighting them by how similar they are to you, how close they are to you on the trust graph and how experienced they are in the corresponding domain.

Trustious estimates how similar you are to other people from how similar your opinions and activities are and will draw on the opinions of similar people to produce your highlights. Trustious quantifies people’s experience by tracking the community’s response to their opinions. Opinions of more experienced community members are given higher weight. There are always gurus in each category, while you may not know them in real life. Yet their valuable opinions in their areas of expertise will benefit you! More interestingly for some, the reverse is also true! The value of your expertise is no longer accessible to just a small circle of acquaintances. Through Trustious, you may benefit way more people and for years to come.

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