Microsoft has revamped its Live Search layout by integrating it with its Flash equivalent Silverlight in the form of new search site tafiti.com.
Tafiti runs on the Live Search engine but using the Graphic User Interface (GUI) abilities of Silverlight it delivers an impressive search area that is designed to showcase Silverlight’s possibilities.
Results are divided up into RSS, News, web, books and pictures which accessed from an animated, rotating circle of icons on the bottom left of the screen. These results are displayed on a clipboard, and can be dragged into columns on the right hand side and labeled for research purposes.
As each new search is carried out, a new piece of notepaper is placed over the previous one. This search engine is not just a pretty face however; the GUI actually makes it much easier to see a clear representation of the returned results and helps the user sort through to find the information they really want.
The best part of this site is the tree representation of the results. Clicking on the tree icon in the middle of the clipboard brings the user to a beautifully animated tree, the branches continually rotating to show different threads or off-shoots of the search results.
The scale of results can be moved using a slider on the bottom of the screen, to show one single “shoot” or result, or a full tree with every branch or result possible.
Clicking on a branch or result will bring the user directly to the site. It can also be viewed in full screen mode.
The clear layout and aesthetically pleasing format would make for a particularly good search engine for children, and if developers have been slow to pick up on Silverlight’s ability this is a great example of the potential for integrating it with user applications.
By Marie Boran