You’ll probably recognize this. My less web-savvy friends are sometimes really surprised when they see me searching for something on the web. They had no idea one could do it so fast. Yet what I’m doing is not that special, e.g. using terms like AND or NOT. For them it’s one of the many mysteries the new digital age brought along.
The people behind the Boolify project stumbled upon a similar problem. Teachers and librarians told them they had a hard time teaching kids to search. Which actually surprises me, as I had figured kids pick up new technologies pretty fast. Anyhow, Boolify has developed an overlay service on Google’s “Safe Search STRICT” technology that illustrates the logic of search, using colored puzzle pieces. These visual cues help children to create a mental model of the search they’re performing. Eventually, it should learn them how to sift information from all the web noise.
So imagine you’re an English kid from Birmingham, looking for a playground. Yet you’re afraid of dogs and totally dig the swing. So you start using Boolify. But after the first keywords, only stores that sell ‘playground equipment’ keep popping up. Apparently they know their SEO. So you exclude them as well. This is how it will look: