Microsoft has announced an application that combines the new Silverlight technology with Live Search and it is code-named “Tafiti” which is “to search” in Swahili. It integrates the various types of Live Search, and allows users to store and share search results by placing them on “shelves.” From there they can be stored or e-mailed or blogged about. Tafiti runs on any browser and platform that Siverlight is compatible with.
Tafiti’s opening page presents a torn sheet of legal pad paper, in which you type your search query and click on Go. From here, the system becomes a kind of ballet of moving objects, as if all the textual elements were greased underneath. A center panel with a file-drawer motif opens up in the center, while cellophane-looking filing tabs show up on the right for storing found items.
In “Tree View,” you’re taken to a kind of cardboard forest at sunset, where it appears you’ve just planted a tree.
From the tiny seed of context, a multitude of weeping white branches emerges, each of which supports a headline waving in the breeze, little green leaves twisting among them like renegades from a Walt Whitman verse. The most relevant searches appear at the top, the least relevant are weighted down toward the bottom. A slider along the bottom enables you to trim this tree, making heavier branches evaporate into the contextual ether while the more relevant ones remain.