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24

I notice that the answers cover a slightly different field from what was asked in the comment by JonW: Really, what I'm interested in is whether or not people know what they can do with tags after they've already been assigned - such as browsing the site using tags to find related content, as opposed to just tagging content with relevant tags. so ...


23

In What Drives Content Tagging: The Case of Photos on Flickr (Nov, Naaman, Ye, 2008), content tagging by a random sample of Flickr users is analysed: We contacted a random sample of users, selected from a page of photos uploaded recently to Flickr, and emailed 1373 users an invitation to participate in the webbased survey. A total of 237 valid ...


18

Nielsen says: "Tag clouds were a huge fad in 2009, and have actually been a fad for several years. Even so, usability studies show that most normal users don't know what they are and don't know how to deal with them." Although he doesn't link to any studies, I tend to believe him. Tag clouds are hard to understand and hard to process visually. If it's a ...


15

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashtag Hashtags are mostly used as unmoderated ad-hoc discussion forums; any combination of characters led by a hash sign is a hashtag, and any hashtag, if promoted by enough individuals, can "trend" and attract more individual users to discussion using the hashtag. The tag you are talking of in this context is a ...


12

What to call them depends on use; "tags" in scientific or other publications are more often called keywords (but are used as Index Terms) and are often the actual topics or important words in an article rather than meta tags. For example Barack Obama is a good keyword, politics is more like a tag or category. Tags are handy in that they give a visual ...


11

The idea behind tags is the same as the idea behind labels in GMail: the ability to assign multiple tags to a single post/mail/.../item. The GMail labeling of e-mails was born specifically to counter the need in most e-mail clients to archive an e-mail in a single specific folder which ususally would be part of a hierarchy of folders. So what do you do with ...


11

...Maybe we should just say 'synonym', flat-out. It isn't that space-consuming, and at least it's unambiguous. I'd also use a 'branch' structure, greyed text and italics to mark a synonym entry as 'secondary' to the main entry. Consider this example: Ok, so java isn't actually a synonym of javascript, but you get my gist.


9

I think of the StackOverflow tagging method as being good for programmers. I mean, it's kind of unnatural, but there are technical advantages. And programmers are used to all sorts of weird things in place of spaces. The - in the tags is technically convenient for a couple reasons: The - can be used in the URL neatly and reliably shared by email ...


9

Partly to do with the likely matching lower case of the word when found embedded in the relevant content. Partly to provide a consistent nature to the tags without seeming to give any one tag preferential treatment or any sense of importance that is not due. Partly to remove a layer of complication when creating, defining, exposing, using, sharing, ...


9

I had this exact problem about a year ago, and ended up doing a number of interviews to try work out whether it was clearer. What I found is by no means definitive, it is just sharing my experience. We found that most people in our target group understood the concept of tags. A few understood them better as 'labels', which it seems they got from gmail. ...


9

As mentioned in Smashing UX Design by Jesmond Allen and James Chudley of cxpartners, who have many years of experience with high profile retail website, they recommend using tabs in this way with caution as in usability testing they find that people don't always see the tabs. Tabs typically differentiate unconnected groups of items. Compartmentalizing items ...


9

When the description has a hashtag, automatically add a corresponding number of tag buttons to the right of the row. Those will take the user to the results of the search query for "#Lunch" or "#clients" for example. As soon as the user adds/removes the hashtag to or from the description, the tag button gets added to or removed from the right hand side. ...


7

Many good answers, here are my thoughts: Why is it that users don't understand tags or/and don't know the difference between tags and categories? I think it's because tagging is quite an abstract idea and not really applicable in the real world. So instead of trying to find the correct term, I'd try to tell the user what it is in "real world language". ...


7

I love the way Delicious handles this this is an 'AND' only search however. So if you want to search for 'tag1 AND tag2' OR 'tag3 AND tag4 AND tag5', you just search twice :) I don't remember seeing a tag search that you want, but this is how I would take a crack at it, I'm assuming your user base is fairly tech-savvy here. Some search engines have ...


7

Use the Faceted Navigation pattern. Amazon.com does a great job with it: (screenshot from these search results for Nintendo DS - note that you can keep yours shorter if you have a vertical constraint) Some things of note: Very clear communication on what the currently selected item in each facet is (in this case, black bold vs. blue for links) Great ...


7

I would say that one of the main benefits of tags in my opinion is that you can click on them and see other items associated with the same tag. If they are really not clickable then perhaps the best thing is to display them as a comma separated list of words/terms, perhaps in a mid grey (or other suitable faded) foreground colour in order to separate them ...


6

So I walk into a coffee shop and I look down the list of options, but before I finish reading I get asked what I would like. I say "I'd just like a regular coffee please". The barista then asks me "Would you like that white or with milk?". Huh - what!? White or with milk? It's the same thing - did you mean to ask whether I want it black or white? Why ...


6

I think this is one of those cases where there is no correct answer. It will depend on your context and target audience. As Steve says space works with Stack Overflow because programmers are used to separating keywords by spaces. You see the system break down when you get to the sites used by non programmers (and even on Stack Overflow itself occasionally) ...


6

For replacements I always prefer to use double square brackets with natural language: Hello, [[first name]] Double brackets rarely appear in normal text but are easy to type and read, natural language removes the need to know/lookup field names. Alternatively you can use real data with highlighting and some tool-tips, bit trickier to implement but much ...


5

I think the interface looks fine. I think you are too loose in what you offer your users with the ability to tag. Everything isn't a tag. A lot of these options seem mutually exclusive. A song's era is basically in and around its release date -- songs created in the 1920's are always going to be 1920's songs and that's never going to change. A song has ...


5

We have an application that helps you track how much money you spend on healthcare. You can tag your expenses; in our application, we call the tags "category tags". The context-sensitive help reads: Tags are just words or phrases that you can use to help categorize your health spending. Tags can be anything: names of family members, names of ...


5

My immediate inclination is that the slightly fuzzy edged search or navigation facility provided by the tags concept is not likely to fit well in the context of the precise nature of the world of accounting or resource planning. The user model seems slightly at odds with the more unstructured tags concept which more suits a changing environment. The good ...


5

There are a number of ways you can probably display (and remove) tags, and I guess quantity is probably the tipping point about how you want to arrange them. It's normally the case that the tags are metadata and therefore, it would probably be something you want to avoid giving too much prominence to. One good way of doing things would be to take a mixture ...


5

My company's product uses several entities that work like tags and form graph-ish tree structures, much like your example shows. (The product isn't public, so I can't get too detailed, sorry.) From a UX perspective, the main win that we've found is that the system is very flexible and can often describe more complex subject matter than a flat tag list or ...


5

One way to guide the user would be to style the tags as soon as the users finish typing a tag, thus indicating that the application/system has recognized their tag. For example, when the user types in the tags that you have entered for this question i.e. "user-behavior", "tags", "warnings", this is what people typically do. Instead, try the following. ...


5

A tags primary use is to place content in context, which means they are labels first and foremost. In real life we use tags all the time to label things to its belongings. Take a suitcase on an airport, it has at least two tags; (1) The suitcase destination airport and (2) the suitcase owners home address. These tags place the suitcase in context of ...


5

My first question is, do you have a karma/points system? As I understand it you have a community edited database. Each user has their own content, which is browsable with community editable cetegories. You could use tags instead of categories. You could filter on tags with a certain level of fuzziness so that near duplicate and related tags are included. ...


5

Using search tool to find categories is not the best way: Search terms may contain errors in typo People tend to use different words for the same meaning Search makes invisible all the categories, so it is guessing-like The idea is to let create new category only after failing to get right one. To get appropriate category you could provide: filtering ...


5

The advantage of hyphenating tags allows you to define when a tag starts or ends while if you went for the option of using spaces, there will be a lot of confusion about the start and end point of a tag. For example, If I wanted to tag San Francisco and my next tag was niners, if I entered all of it together, the system my take the tag as "San Francisco ...


4

I find tag clouds to be rather distracting. I can say that I have never clicked on one. I understand that the larger the tags are, the more popular they are, but it doesn't seem to work nearly as well as the "Recent Tags" sidebar on this site, which displays a count next to the tag, and lists them in an easily scannable list. To me, tag clouds are just ...



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