In August 2010 Google bought, a web site built by Riya using the visual recognition technology of that company.

Built with the ability to recognize complex patterns in photos, was a visual search engine that could scan thousands of product photos and find items that are similar to styles, shapes and colors you like.

Google’s is that product search engine, revamped with a new look and jazzed up with some social features.

How Google Boutiques Works

Google Boutiques matches fashion items to your tastes and/or lets your browse sets of pre-designed tastes & styles, for example by looking through a boutique setup by someone else.

The initial home page experience is quite unlike other fashion sites, offering you 6 people whose you can “follow”.

Sign up is fast and easy.


Immediately after sign-up the system leads you through 6 stages of personal style and preference identification.



Using basic symbols for colors, patterns and shapes you get to identify what you love and hate when it comes to dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes and designers.


The system smartly remembers preferences from previous screens so when I moved from dresses to tops, colors and patterns were already checked off.


In the last step of the process you identify designers you love or hate.


Once done you get to go to your boutique, the home page of which is several screens long.


Seriously, the amount of items on that page is massive. A full screenshot of it, resized to 10% of its original would still fill up your whole screen.

There are hits and misses in what they pick for you. Obviously this doesn’t go:

image So faced with this … this… <gestures> thing I decide to click Hate.


That brings up a number of reasons that I can check off, or not, to indicate why I don’t like this.

A lot of things the system gets right right away, like these gorgeous boots.

imageI love these boots so I Love them.

imageAwesome: same reason checkbox list pops up. I see where we’re going with this.

I can also Save or Share each item.





Now let’s see how that works.

This is the screen for boots when you’re not signed in:



And this is the screen Boutiques generates based on my likes and dislikes:


It clearly has taken the model preference (see my favorites bottom left) into account and the color reason I had given … although for the life of it, I can’t figure out what that yellow groundstomper is doing there or why anyone would ever buy it , let alone wear it.


The right sidebars have Inspiration photos.


The photos are taken from other sites that were part of the system. Surprisingly, clicking on them doesn’t take you to that specific item or similar but leads you off-site to the page where the photo comes from…


Exploring boutiques is another option on the site. Everyone has their own boutique. To crank the pump Google has had some people setup a few already.


Make or Break?


Boutiques, like, works very well.

Not only that, it’s fun to play with – and while having fun you’re not really aware you’re actually browsing a store, window shopping, getting ready to part with your hard earned money.

Smarter yet, there’s a virtual game kind of thing going on with the whole “your” boutique. With your boutique open for all to see, who would want to get caught with the wrong style?!

Google Boutiques just works.