The “rainbow” still works even if constrained to shades of grey (as in Adobe Photoshop for example).
A gallery format for images is no problem
Tagging and tag display is done on each image using the image’s individual ‘slice’ of rainbow.
Liquorice Allsorts (a somewhat less formal approach!)
Front-end for Gmail
(One unified system would replace mailboxes, labels, stars, and paperclips)
How Gmail could look on a mobile
By overlaying the data and the rainbow, we can get all the functionality of the desktop version on a mobile, on one single screen. Small screens can be big!
Front-end for Google
A song organizer / player to improve on iTunes
Playlists are groups - and organizing by grouping is yesterday’s way. A tagging system - like our rainbow - gives you much more control over your music. Tags would be divided into pages such as ‘Genre’, ‘Country’, ‘Decade’, ‘Duration’, and would let you filter on any tags in any combination, so you could play exactly what you wanted to hear at any particular moment.
Mobile version - all the same functionality, all together on one mobile screen!
YouTube (and Flickr and Picasa and Pinterest and…)
on a mobile
on a tablet
The rainbow does faceted browsing, only better…
Property websites (and general retail websites) use something called “faceted browsing” to let you zero in on what you’re looking for. A ‘facet’ would be something like price, number of bedrooms, type of property, etc. Each facet is divided up into a number of values. This is broadly what our rainbow does - we call a facet a ‘page’ and a facet value a ‘tag’ - but our rainbow does a lot more as well - to mention just one advantage, users can create their own facets and values to better organize their data. The two examples below imagine how a real-estate site could be ‘rainbowized’ - on a mobile screen to highlight how compact and powerful the rainbow can be.
Using the system-provided tags - the current ‘query’ is shown along the top (as is standard for all rainbow programs). Tags can be combined positively or negatively; for example you could say “exclude commercial property from the current search”.
Users can very easily set up their own tags to organize their data. Existing faceted browsing systems don’t provide this - the rainbow does, and seamlessly integrates it with the system tags to make the whole thing easy to learn and use.
As wonderful as Google is, we think it’s a shame that the trend of their search engine has been to rely more and more on text search alone, and to hide the search tools away. They want their own algorithms to do all the ‘thinking’ for us, and they seem not to want us to tailor the results for ourselves. Our rainbow takes the opposite approach, and would put all the control right back in the users’ hands, by making the filters a basic part of the architecture. Google are really about searching; we are focused more on browsing. Here is one way we could marry the Google look with our functionality…
A few ‘doodles’ for rainbow skins
The Rainbow Interface is protected by UK patent 2394874 and by US patent 7334185