Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Features Update

Wow, it’s been a while since the last blog post. Over a month is probably too long, seeing how a lot of changes have happened to the How Happy site since then. So let’s go through them!

You can now write a review for any item on How Happy. Just click the “Add A New Review” text towards the bottom and fill out the various text fields. There are places for your Pros, Cons, Comments and your name. Don’t worry … you don’t have to enter your real name if you want to remain anonymous. There is also a CAPTCHA we use to root out spam. Then click Finished and your review will appear on our site. If you want to make any changes to your review, just submit a new one. It will overwrite your existing review.

Improved Bar Chart
The layout at the top of each item page is now a little different to accommodate a wider bar chart. This new bar chart is animated and you can hover your cursor over each bar to see the values. The area was also made wider to accommodate other new features that may go in that same space.

Photos on Homepage
The site was looking a bit boring, so photos are being added to various places around the site. There was no better place to start than the homepage. Now new visitors can quickly get an impression what this site is about.

Keep visiting this site, because new features are still in the works.

How Happy

Friday, April 17, 2009

An Easier Way to Add Items

This site used to have a cumbersome way of adding new items that was not worth the effort for most users. Now, all you have to do to add a new item is click the New tab towards the top of the screen or go to

First, type in the new thing you want to add to the site. We will check if it is a duplicate, so don't worry about that.

Second, fill in the CAPTCHA. We added this step to help eliminate spam from the database. If you can't make out the words, click the little refresh button and it will load two new words.

Once you're finished, click Submit.

If everything is successful, you will be taken immediately to the new page where you can vote on it.

If, for some reason, you typed something wrong, don't worry. We still review each submission and will fix any typos. Still, you can always contact us if you want to make changes.

Keep visiting the site because more new features are coming.

- Kevin

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Feature: Predictions

How Happy has a new Predictions feature. This is a first attempt at trying to predict how you will like a given item. I know it isn't perfect so right now I am considering it experimental. The How Happy web site doesn't have a lot of voter data right now, so the predictions won't be the best. However, over time, the predictions will improve as we gather more voter data. So, one way to help make the predictions better is to create an account and start voting on things.

The prediction software running behind the scenes is based on the Slope One algorithm developed by Daniel Lemire and Anna Maclachlan. You can read more about Slope One at the following web sites:

There are other enhancements I plan on making to the prediction feature to help improve results, and as I work on them, I'll keep you informed.

I plan on working on some other new features now that predictions seem to be working. I'll be working on a Review feature where users can post reviews of any items. You will be able to state the pros and cons of an item, and maybe comment on the item as well.

How Happy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our New Blog

Hey, the How Happy website now has a blog. I plan on using this blog to update you on new features I've added to the website, or new features I am working on. For example, one new feature is ... this blog! I have a list of features I'm working on now or will in the future, but if you have anything you would like to see on the site, please add a comment to a blog post or contact me using the contact form.