I'm redesigning UI and features for tagging in a mobile app. The current implementation doesn't provide a way for users to directly edit or delete their existing tags.

Currently, tags that are not being used disappear from the tag list-view / cloud, which seems to be working. But this doesn't allow editing tags. (Editing tags is desirable, because the data we're collecting will be used longitudinally for data analysis, so helps to not break the data.)

Should there be a separate "tag management" area for editing tags? Can this be handled in within the tag-creation area?

The three thoughts I'm exploring are:

  • pop-up to edit a tag
  • separate area to manage tags (in 'settings')

Or am I setting myself up for trouble in a way I'm not foreseeing, and this is really the best option:

  • don't allow editing, only deleting
  • 1
    There's quite a lot going on here. That's going to make it hard to give a single useful answer as there isn't just one specific answerable question here. (And we can't just list examples of something, that isn't really what a Q&A site is for). It seems like you're just after general advice, which is a bit broad. Can you reduce this down to one single answerable question? You're welcome to ask other questions on the same topic but one large broad post like this isn't really going to provide you with a useful answer as it stands.
    – JonW
    Nov 14, 2013 at 10:28
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    I see what you mean. Should I delete and re-submit? I suppose the last sentence may be the most specific... looking for good examples to get ideas from. But maybe that's not the best use of this forum?
    – spac3man
    Nov 14, 2013 at 11:03
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    Examples of stuff aren't the best use of this site (because it's a Question and Answer site, not a Forum). Also, as the site is full of UX professionals / experts then you get the best answers if you explicitly ask to solve a problem. Asking for examples is like saying 'hey, UX experts, I want {something} but I won't ask you experts to give me the solution, I want you to point me to stuff other people have done so I can use their ideas instead'. Just ask 'This is my issue, I've tried to address it by doing X, but what is a better way of doing it?' and us UX professionals can give the answer.
    – JonW
    Nov 14, 2013 at 11:28
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    Apologies for my repeated questions, because I'm new to this Q&A site. I'm a UX professional myself (15 years), and I have edited the question above in a way that makes sense to me. Does it now make sense to you, in a way that you feel is suitable to this Q&A site?
    – spac3man
    Nov 14, 2013 at 12:29
  • Some questions from me: So can users create new tags if they want? Can users add and remove tags from the things-they-are-tagging at will? When you say delete tags, does that mean they delete the tag entirely, or just remove it from the item?
    – Fractional
    Nov 14, 2013 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


Tags are usually deleted and not edited. I usually advocate editing. However, since tags are so short, it simplifies the interface to only allow deleting. As a result, this may have become the convention.

If you do want to allow editing, replace the delete ('X') icon with an edit icon and allow deletion in edit mode (after the edit icon click).

I'm not too clear on how you are using the tagging data. Keep in mind that though the user deletes the tag, it does not mean that the system no longer has that data. The data should maintain deleted tag entries and have a means of differentiating them (by using negative numbers for example).

  • "If you do want to allow editing, replace the delete ('X') icon with an edit icon and allow deletion in edit mode (after the edit icon click)." Thanks for that :) Yes, the user would only delete the tag from inside the interface, but the system should still have it, or its versions, if the editing is allowed.
    – spac3man
    Jan 4, 2014 at 12:58

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