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  1. #1
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    Cool Automated racket recommendation tool

    Hi all,

    I am currently building a website and I am thinking about including a racket recommendation tool that will help people (esp those new to the sport), select the best racket based on several questions.

    Technically, it's a decision support system.



    For example, I would like a series of simple questions to be asked and the user is presented with several predefined answers:
    1. What is your budget?
    a. under $50 b. $51-$75
    c. $76-$100
    d. $101-$150
    e. over $150
    2. Do you normally play...
    a. Doubles?b. Singles?
    c. Both singles and doubles?
    3. Are you a(n)...
    a. Offensive player who is better at attacking and smashing?b. Defensive player who is better at the net and creating setups?
    4. Do you need to...
    a. Generate more power in your drives, clears, and smashes?b. Control and place the shuttle more accurately?
    5. Blah blah...
    The answers will (hopefully) provide enough info to recommend a racket in terms of racket flexibility, stringing tension, control, weight, etc that would best suit the player.

    I realize there's a Yonex chart/matrix out there that plots rackets against doubles/singles and offensive/defensive axes, but this isn't enough info for the majority of people to make a decision on.

    So this is actually a two part request:

    Do you guys have questions (with possible answers) that you think would be valuable?



    By possible answers I mean, the multiple choice answers AS WELL AS the recommended racket. For example, for the first question about budget, the multiple choice answers are:
    a. under $50b. $51-$75
    c. $76-$100
    d. $101-$150
    e. over $150
    The recommended racket answers are (I'm guessing here, so don't hold me to it):
    a. under $50 - ISO63 MF, MP22, MP24, MP27b. $51-$75 - ISO75 MF, MP23
    c. $76-$100 - MP30, MP33, MP44, AT300, CAB MS20
    d. $101-$150 - MP66, MP77, MP88, CAB MS30
    e. over $150 - AT800 DE, AT800 OF, MP99, MP100, etc.
    I am just using Yonex as an example here, but hopefully, the tool will be able to recommend RSL, Carlton and other brands.

    Thanks in advance,

    Anna
    Last edited by annab; 12-01-2004 at 12:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds interesting! BUMP!

  3. #3
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    I thought about it 6 months ago, but I found it is not feasible, because each country has different rackets sales, even each city of the country may have price difference.

    Also, companies keep on updating rackets. New rackets are out frequently and old rackets are no longer easy to find. It would be hard / dry to update the program / database every month unless you are writing this for living.

    And many more point potential problems....

  4. #4
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    Relatively speaking, it's not difficult to add/edit/delete records in a database. Especially if there are only a handful of racket manufacturers that come out with a handful of new rackets a year. Anyone can compile a database of rackets by using just Excel.

    Anyway, it's not really an issue here because I am a professional web developer (failed to mention that, sorry).

    Also, I'd like to point out that this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a precision tool. Ideally, it would return 2-3 results which are ranked. The first result being the most likely fit at x%:

    eg. 1. MP99 - 98%
    2. MP100 - 96%
    3. AT800 OF - 93%

    What other potential problems do you foresee?
    Last edited by annab; 12-01-2004 at 02:48 AM.

  5. #5
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    only yonex rackets will be in the database? or other different brands?

  6. #6
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    You may want to look at http://directsports-eshop.com

    They have an online racquet selector which uses a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Of course, it only includes the racquets they sell...

    John

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    what language are u using
    php?
    asp?

    Quote Originally Posted by j_e_thompson
    You may want to look at http://directsports-eshop.com

    They have an online racquet selector which uses a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Of course, it only includes the racquets they sell...

    John

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by annab
    Relatively speaking, it's not difficult to add/edit/delete records in a database. Especially if there are only a handful of racket manufacturers that come out with a handful of new rackets a year. Anyone can compile a database of rackets by using just Excel.

    Anyway, it's not really an issue here because I am a professional web developer (failed to mention that, sorry).

    Also, I'd like to point out that this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a precision tool. Ideally, it would return 2-3 results which are ranked. The first result being the most likely fit at x%:

    eg. 1. MP99 - 98%
    2. MP100 - 96%
    3. AT800 OF - 93%

    What other potential problems do you foresee?
    Most likely, money.

    For example:
    MP100 is selling more expensive than MP99 in Japan.
    MP100 is selling the as the same price as MP99 in Taiwan.
    MP100 is selling less expensive than MP99 in US.

    So, that would be a problem for the budget selection, along with different countries have different sales prices.

    Example: with 120 USD, you can buy a brand new MP99 in Taiwan, but you can barely buy a MP66 in the US with that price (MP99 is $160+ in US in normal stores)

    Also, the range of database will be quite big as history of rackets is long. To most countries, Ti-10 is no longer for sale, but to some countries, that's not a problem. For example, US doesn't sell Ti-10 anymore, but Singapore still does. So, the racket selector program can only be used for certain countries (very limited) because of that, and hence, lower the meaning of writing such a program since it will only work in certain places.

  9. #9
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    I don't think this is a problem at all. I've worked with databases of 1000s of products and it's all very easily manipulated (with regard to any product detail including price).

    So if this were to be used on a US site, then the prices in the database will obviously have to be manipulated to suit the market conditions there. This is true for any ecommerce site.

    I'm not looking for a historical record of every single racket that was ever produced. I am compiling a database of more recent and available models. Whether the Ti-10 is available or not isn't an issue as this is only a recommendataion tool that outputs a handful of recommenadations that are ranked.

    So if the Ti-10 was ranked 1, for example, and the user knows they can't find it locally, well he has two options:

    1. Go find it somewhere else (eBay, some other site, etc.)
    2. Rule it out and look at the second or third options

    Anyway, with all that being said, let's just get to the questions already...

    So peeps, post away!

    Anna

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbi
    what language are u using
    php?
    asp?
    It's just a link to an excel spreadsheet, embedded in an html frame. If you want to download the spreadsheet it is at http://s75542554.oneandoneshop.co.uk/eracsel.xls

    John

  11. #11
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    By the way, an easy way to do it is by java script, but the interface might not look as good as others.

  12. #12
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    i think php would be good enough,go for flash if u like classy.
    Dun use java,cuz they tend to be buggy for me...

  13. #13
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    PHP/MySQL, definitely.

  14. #14
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    Problems notwithstanding... me thinks it definitely worth a try !

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