I have what I call a 2 dimensional tagging system. You provide a data element and tag it. In this case the data element is a ( url , title, favicon ).

Here is the UI for it:

enter image description here

However I want to add another tagging level, or a way to tag the tags. That way you could organize your tags. However, I wanted a way to do this graphically.

The most common way I've seen is the way some browsers organize your favorites, where each group is in a box that you open.

I didn't like that method and was thinking of just putting bigger tags above the smaller ones.

For example a big tag that said music, underneath it, a small tag that said Taylor Swift, and then the data element, i.e. the favorite ( say a youtube video for "Haunted" )

However I found this to clunky. Is there a cleaner more innovative way to do it?

  • 1
    It's unclear what you'd tag the tags with - could you clarify what sort of data you want to attach to them? Must this be via tagging the tags, or are you open to other categorisation techniques? It appears you want to categorise your tags, and you've decided one way to do this is with tagging those tags and thus you're asking about that. Instead, you should probably be asking about the goal, not the step: in other words, you should just ask how to categorise your tags. Jan 6, 2014 at 1:04
  • for example , in the above picture, video and music would be classified under a big tag called media
    – user39525
    Jan 6, 2014 at 1:20
  • I want something intuitive to a smart user, but that won't trip up someone young or not so brilliant. Tagging tags is kind of "advanced" in my mind.
    – user39525
    Jan 6, 2014 at 1:23
  • 1
    If you're open to alternate techniques you should probably ask a more general question asking for advice on how you should categorise your tags. You should probably also mention the reason why you're making those changes and introducing the categorisation system, and provide concrete examples of what sort of categories would exist (categorising [video] and [music] under media is a good example) Jan 6, 2014 at 1:28
  • @Jonathon - the question is simple in my mind, I want to tag tags, I want a good idea for doing this graphically. I've provided 2 ways that I thought of doing it. ( 1 ) Adding bigger tags above the smaller ones. ( 2 ) using the methods that browsers use to organize favorites or that operating systems use to organize files. However, I was looking of a more innovative approach than what was already out there. Not sure why I got down-voted, I'm doing my best to describe the UX question. How can I add this feature so that someone that may not even want to use tags at all is not tripped up?
    – user39525
    Jan 6, 2014 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


It looks like you're building a deep hierarchical structure of your terms instead of tag attributes. And that is fine, but as such you can't leave it just as open as a normal tagging system is. Wikipedia has this to say on tags:

a tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information (such as an Internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file). This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the item's creator or by its viewer, depending on the system.

Reference: Tag (metadata)

I'd suggest the implementation of a real hierarchy with real structure, since you're already pretty advanced in your tagging system. Using a term store where you can manage your terms is probably the most efficient way to handle this situation. You could allow haw many terms you want in your "tag area", and visualize them the way you want. But you need a solid underlying structure to build on to make it scalable and manageable.

  • Thanks. I didn't mean tags in that sense. In my application tags are the underlying structure. If this disturbs your thinking b.c. of the wikipedia def. , I can change the word to something else. However, I was looking for a UX idea beyond what was already out there. Something innovative.
    – user39525
    Jan 6, 2014 at 12:39
  • did you follow?
    – user39525
    Jan 12, 2014 at 1:20
  • @www.arcmarks.com I follow, and you're not after tags at all. You're after managed hierarchical terms in your own taxonomy built on your own ontology. Jan 12, 2014 at 8:32

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