Tafiti – Silverlight Live Search
August 23, 2007
Tafiti is a mashup that uses the resources of Windows Live Search driven by a Silverlight user interface. The result is a search engine with a totally new experience.
Tafiti (which is the Swahili word for “do research”) uses a desktop metaphor to search across media types and even filter your data result set multiple times. So here’s my take on Tahiti
1. Provides a stack view of my search results – Ability to drag multiple search results on to the right pane and to label a stack of results.
2. You can email items of a stack to people, which is pretty useful.
3. Ability to blog about a stack you have created on your Live Space account.
4. Ability to pivot the search results by RSS feeds, books, news items, images. I found this to be very useful . It does not stop here, you can in fact view contextual information on a book. (This feature however doesn’t seem to be working currently)
5. Here is one cool feature, though it took me some time to figure out how to get to this – On your web search results, there is a tree icon and clicking on which provides a real tree view visualization of your search results. You can choose to view how many results you wish to see and hovering over a result provides a brief description of the same. Very cool, but doubt if people will find value.
1. A somewhat jerky experience throughout, not as smooth as WPF desktop applications.
2. There are some issues with resolution, does not run perfectly on lower resolutions.
3. No pagination for search results – there’s only a more link which is not great usability.
4. There’s a text box for filtering the search results – where you can actually type and I figured that it does a text comparison with the search results and pivots them. Not a common standard for filters – users might be expecting a drop down etc.
5. Try right clicking on the site and you will notice only one option called ‘Silverlight configuration’ clicking on which provides a note about silverlight. I am really hoping that this is customizable ?
6. It opens up all the search results in a new IE window, which is not great usability.
Overall, it’s worth a shot, though I am sure that Microsoft realizes that no one is going to use this as a search engine, it’s more of an effort to showcase the power of silverlight and maybe the future of rich internet applications.
Here are some screenshots