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I am wanting to organize my work on my portfolio with tags. I am wondering if I should have tags describe the type of work and systems used AND a description of what the project is.

For example: A forum theme for an audio company that makes mixers.

Would it be better to leave the tags like: Forum, Theme, SMF, jQuery

or add a description tags as well like: Audio, Mixers, Company-Name

What is the best practice for tagging projects? And any personal opinions on how you would like to view someones portfolio?

If you think this fits under "not everything needs to be a tag", please do.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Generally tags are used to match search keywords and categories are used for browsing. I would tag the projects the way you first suggested and you could consider adding the programming language or other relevant skills to the project.

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Tagging is not useful unless you have the depth, breadth, and variety of content such that tags will enhance the browsing and navigation experience. So first consider whether tags will add value or get in the way and/or mislead, for example resulting in either dead ends or the same item(s) all the time.

Accepting that the above is true:

You have to think about how the tags are going to be used. If a tag is likely to cover just the one item then it's not useful as a tagpoint which should act as a node to other items of a similar nature.

Additionally, the tags should be nodes of interest to your audience, and if this is for a portfolio, then the tags should relate to what employers or potential clients may find interesting to explore.

Thus, your first set of tags will be more appropriate than descriptive tags. But be careful not to tag everything for the sake of tagging - get in the mindset of your ideal user and consider what they are going to want to see; check what other content you actually have that relates to the tags; and thinking about how you want to present yourself should also come into the equation in this context too.

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Use tags if you have a lot of items and if your users will have to filter them.

If so, in order to make them useful, add tags that your users will look for.

If you think your users will search for jQuery projects, add a jQuery tag. If you think they will search by companies, add a tag with the company name.

The plus there should be to categorize your tags in buckets: a bucket of technology tag, a bucket of company names, ...

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Thanks for the bucket suggestion :) –  MLM Oct 11 '12 at 20:04
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