jake on 2005.05.16
at 05:49 pm
Everybody loves tag clouds. Well for the most part. I don’t write enough about design. Maybe it’s because we haven’t modified this site since it’s inception in 2001. Well at least not cosmetically.
In any event Zeldman has a little writeup about the subject. Tag clouds are supplemental data that users submit for “categorizing” the content. Naturally in a community where numerous people can all pick words that are relevant to their content you get a lot of unpopular data.
Tag clouds are starting to be very popular as ways to navigate where simple category listings would suffice. Which is the main conundrum. Tag clouds work well for grouping popular information but they are flawed in that they can not give you all the information unless you only have a handful of tags.
Zeldman’s right some instances need more structure and hierarchy. Hopefully after they are overused for a while developers will come up with some acceptable uses and swing the pendulum back. Tag clouds could be the next Flash.
brian said on 2005.05.16 at 10:22 pm
I don't care for clouds
I love clouds when they’re in the sky, but I personally don’t get the obsession over these clouds. I personally think while they’re neat, they make for a poor interface decision, except in rare circumstance. There’s a reason that libraries in all the years they’ve been in existence haven’t adopted a similar technique for finding books. A little information architecture goes a long way.
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