The prevalence of tags seems to have helped drive a trend towards unstructured storage of information, and instead supporting unstructured or intelligent search features to help retrieve stored content. I have noticed this with the new bookmarks feature in Chrome, applications such as TagSpaces along with increase in popularity of programs such as Microsoft OneNote and other note or task organisation applications.

It seems to conflict with the idea of a more structured and minimalist view about information architecture to support flexible and responsive front end applications, but perhaps it is part of the evolving process that will settle at some hybrid model of information architecture and interaction behaviour.

Are there standards or guidelines for the design patterns used in unstructured storage and retrieval of information that has been defined for current front end development frameworks?

  • Is the question when to use tree organization vs flat vs mult-faceted? It is going to depend on the application.
    – Bowen
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


Can I ask why you believe using tags for information storage conflicts with 'a more structured and minimalist view about information architecture'? I think there's a good discussion in that alone.

Forcing a user to create tags for information storage means it will always be relevant to them and there won't be additional/excess ways of organising their data.

One example is Evernote. I only create tags when I have a project so it's much easier to segment the notes I take on each project. When the project is over, I remove the tag or I archive the notes. What I'm left with is a clean ongoing list of tags showing active projects.

Sorry, I don't have any links to standards or guidelines on this topic. I'm just as interested as you whether there are any out there.

  • 1
    Valid points and an interesting discussion, but I'm not sure this should be posted as an answer... Looks like your post could be easily trimmed down to fit in a comment though :)
    – justin
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 18:42
  • are you saying notes are only relevant to the active project? when you remove the tags they are no longer indexed so any search you run will pull back notes that are active?
    – colmcq
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 9:00
  • - Justin I think I didn't have enough rep to comment at that point in time :) - Colmcq Now that I think of it, my Evernote example doesn't exactly relate to the end question given by Michael Lai, more a way to spur on discussion. I agree with Justin, should have been a comment vs answer :)
    – philip
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 9:31

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