By Harry McCracken | Monday, June 15, 2009 at 3:33 am
Hunch, a new site from Flickr cofounder Caterina Fake, has just opened its doors to all comers. You might describe it as a sort of mashup of Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, and any Facebook quiz that helps you determine stuff like just who your favorite member of the Three Stooges is. Except that wouldn’t come anywhere near adequately conveying how clever and distinctive this decision-making tool is. Or how outstandingly good its user interface is.
When you arrive at Hunch, it starts asking you questions about yourself, from the relatively straightforward:
…to the downright eccentric:
Hunch is asking you stuff in the interest of getting to know you better, and thereby providing you with better answers to questions. And answering questions is the site’s stock in trade. It does so via mini quizzes on topics of all sorts, from the practical to the playful:
The quizzes ask you more questions:
And then provide you with advice:
At this early point in its life, what’s most interesting about Hunch isn’t the quality of its advice–with the topics I’ve been through so far, it’s been reasonable but kind of predictable. (The quiz on campy cult movies suggested I watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show–I didn’t need Hunch to figure that out.) Rather, it’s how the quizzes get built–which is by Hunch users, who can build new quizzes from scratch, edit existing ones, and rate the quality of ones they take. It’s intensely collaborative, and if Hunch takes off, it’s easy to believe that there will be a profusion of advice on topics of all sorts, and that it’ll be deep, useful, and non-obvious.
Hunch’s interface–both for taking quizzes and constructing or refining them–is a thing of joy. Reminiscent of Flickr in all the right ways, it’s clean, fun, and really, really fast. That makes using Hunch a pleasure right now; more important, it increases the chances that the service will catch on and get the large numbers of users it needs to ensure a diverse and useful repository of questions and answers. It certainly gives it a leg up on a vaguely similar, less slick service with…almost the same name, sort of: Lunch.
If you check out Hunch, let us know what you think. Here’s Caterina Fake’s blog post on the launch.