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Tafiti Quick App: Behind the Scenes with Marc Mercuri

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Catherine Heller sat down with Marc Mercuri, Architect on the platform incubation team, to discuss one of Marc’s recent incubation projects, Tafiti, and how it evolved into a Windows Live Quick Application.

Tafiti is an experimental search front-end from Microsoft that uses Silverlight and Live Search to provide a rich Web experience and specialization of search. (Here are some previous interviews on Tafiti, in case you missed them: First Look: Microsoft Tafiti, Marc Mercuri on platform incubation and Tafiti)

Windows Live Quick Applications are customizable out-of-the box solutions for specific Web scenarios. Each Quick App is built on Windows Live services and is offered as a source code download. The Tafiti Quick App illustrates search visualization.

At around 00:26:44, Marc announces a contest! Do you have an interesting specialized search experience in mind? Something you might build by repurposing the Tafiti Quick App source code? Marc is going to give away limited edition Tafiti t-shirts to the top-5 coolest submissions . So send your submission to tafiti@microsoft.com before February 15th, 2008 to be considered!

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  • Just a suggestion, could you add a full screen button beside the play/pause button, double clicking does make it full screen, but it pauses playback and it's a general user annoyance.

    Regards,

  • I don't know what browser you're using and why you don't see that there is indeed a "full screen" button, but also concerning "double clicking", you have to do a quick "double click" in order to make it go full screen, if not, yes, indeed it only pauses and restarts the video.
  • Do any of you know how to downloaD  MICROSOFT OFFICE PICTURE MANAGER ? IF SO CAN I HAVE A LINK ? XX

  • I see they've added a little slide down menu telling you that you have to turn off pop-up blockers to make it work. When Tafiti came out I had to figure that out myself.

    Basically, it's broken. How many people know how to turn off the Google Toolbar blocker or the one built into the browser?
    Almost nobody knows how to do that so they will assume the site doesn't work and never try it again. That's a failure and that's too bad because it's a good concept.

  • dentaku wrote:
    
    Basically, it's broken. How many people know how to turn off the Google Toolbar blocker or the one built into the browser?
    Almost nobody knows how to do that so they will assume the site doesn't work and never try it again. That's a failure and that's too bad because it's a good concept.


    Winter blues got you down dentaku? Big Smile

    I fail to see how one could reasonably say it's broken... (before or after the addition of the blocker message)

    If people don't know how to turn off their pop-up blocker (Google or otherwise) then they are hardly the most observant and whilst I wish them no ill, they would only have themselves to blame.  IE7 flashes up about pop-ups in most cases and Google has a counter indicating the number of blocked items.

    If these hypothetical people showed a bit of natural curiosity ("hmmn, that didn't work like I thought it would.  What might be wrong?  Oh, that thing just changed at the top of the screen") then I'm sure they'd be zooming along happily in no time.

    Now it has a blatant help message they have no excuse.
  • NMStoker wrote:
    
    dentaku wrote:
    
    Basically, it's broken. How many people know how to turn off the Google Toolbar blocker or the one built into the browser?
    Almost nobody knows how to do that so they will assume the site doesn't work and never try it again. That's a failure and that's too bad because it's a good concept.


    Winter blues got you down dentaku?

    I fail to see how one could reasonably say it's broken... (before or after the addition of the blocker message)

    If people don't know how to turn off their pop-up blocker (Google or otherwise) then they are hardly the most observant and whilst I wish them no ill, they would only have themselves to blame.  IE7 flashes up about pop-ups in most cases and Google has a counter indicating the number of blocked items.

    If these hypothetical people showed a bit of natural curiosity ("hmmn, that didn't work like I thought it would.  What might be wrong?  Oh, that thing just changed at the top of the screen") then I'm sure they'd be zooming along happily in no time.

    Now it has a blatant help message they have no excuse.


    I deal with people all the time and trust me, they don't notice the yellow bar that that slides down when IE wants to warn you about something or it just annoys them. I've seen this happen WAY too many times. The Tafiti warning that explains that you need to disable your pop-up blocker is definitely noticeable and nobody can miss it but the thing is that most people aren't curious and don't even know what a  browser is even though they use it every day so disabling a pop-up blocker is far beyond what they're capable of. It might sound harsh but it's true.

    Something like a search engine shouldn't need instructions and should never make the user change settings. The message doesn't even explain where to go to disable the blocker and most people don't know that IE7 has one built in. If they installed the Google Toolbar they might know IT has a blocker but they usually don't realize that the counter is more than just a number in the toolbar.

    People who work in software are curious and like looking at what settings can be changed and many times don't have the experience I have working with the average person who expect something as basic as a search engine to not need figuring out. It's one of those things that should just work and if it doesn't they will just turn to other services.
    It's not an e-mail client or something like that that people accept will need some kind of configuration.

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