Unideal Less cowbell.

Design Guidelines for Faceted Search

  • Feb 19th, 2011

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Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 3.43.44 PMThis paper is a literature review of relevant research on the design of faceted search interfaces. The work here was the foundation for the redesign of a new Hemmings.com classifieds search interface now in production.

Design Considerations for Faceted Search Read the paper: Faceted Search Literarure Review and Implementation


Reviewing and synthesizing relevant academic literature is a solid approach to any major product initiative and Google Scholar makes it a lot easier than it used to be. Comps and heuristic approaches can get you most of the way there but adding grounding based on academic work adds a new dimension of ideas and validation.

It’s interesting to look at the Delta between my presented “ideal” version of the interface and then compare where it ended up as a production interface incorporating the inertia and natural politics of an established web property along with the limitations of development tools and time frames. Constraints, not excuses! I’m very happy with our version 1.0 system.

Under the hood, Hemmings’ classifieds search is powered by a clustered SOLR search engine using a pretty standard set of query parsers. In addition, we’ve tapped into the excellent Spatial SOLR plugin from Jteam for geographic searches. I’m really satisfied with the performance, management overhead and extensibility of this setup.

This work has not been published in any journals but serves as a decent review of the fundamentals underlying this type of interface. My goal from the outset was to produce a product rather than do any new research or insights, and the paper reflects it. Let me know if you find it useful or would like to talk more about faceted search.

Pike’s Peak or Bust – Apple Farmer Racing 2010

  • Jun 15th, 2010


Apple Farmer Racing took on the 88th running of the Pike’s Peak International Hillclimb in June 2010. Pike’s Peak International Hillclimb is the second oldest motor sports event in the United States:  a 12.4 mile, 156 turn race through my butts to Pike’s Peak’s 14,110′ summit. The race forces competitors to climb over a mile and race through sheer dropoffs and dangerous switchbacks.

We were the only 4 cylinder car to finish in a large vintage class of American v8’s. We’re also the first Volvo in the race since 1958. Our final time of 15:15 wasn’t quite where we wanted to be but we chalk it up to a rookie attempt and are already redeveloping the car for next year’s event.


2009 La Carrera Panamericana

  • Oct 16th, 2009

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Check out the our run at the 2009 La Carrera Panamericana – a hardcore rally race spanning all of Mexico.

Enjoy the site and be sure to follow our updates beginning October 21st 2009.


Vintage Performance Developments site redesign

  • Jun 7th, 2009

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VPD Redesign

VPD Redesign

Just finished a summary of some work I did for John Parker at Vintage Performance Developments as a project for my grad studies.

This was a complete restructuring of IA and design with the addition of new custom editing functions to give the owner more editorial control.

Take a read.

Volvo Modifications: Engine Stabilizer

  • Apr 10th, 2009

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Third motor mount

I’ve been using some stock Volvo 544 mounts to keep my engine in place in my 71 volvo 1800. I’ve been using these particular mounts because they have an approximate 1″ thickness vs. the stock mounts 1 3/8″ thickness and give me hood clearance needed by the supercharger. Over time, the amount of torque and traction produced by the car is a bit much for this design. Autocross starts are 4500 rpm clutch drops on race tires and a sloppy downshift on a road course can transmit a lot of energy to these mounts. Recently one of the mounts let go and sent the forward edge of my compressor into the sheet metal of the hood. This sucked, time to fix it.

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