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Tag Clouds: Visualizing Chaos

Published

Those of us in the interactive world are constantly searching for better, less convoluted ways to deliver digital products to our users. Tag clouds support (or replace) traditional navigation and offer simple searching to set users on the right path. Tag clouds visually describe a site’s content using scale to communicate hierarchy, and illustrate prominent content without having to go through a keyword search function.

Some of the best examples come from del.icio.us, a site that lets you keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, restaurant reviews, and access them from any computer on the Web; Technorati, a site that helps people search for, surface, and organize bloggers and their daily posts; and Flickr, a site that’s enabling new ways of organizing photos. Each of these sites uses tag clouds to filter and organize information through real-world criteria that’s more intuitive for diverse user types.

Tag clouds are more than an obvious answer for increasingly impatient Web audiences; we find their ability to create more organic online processes fascinating. Although tag clouds are most commonly found in blogs, we predict that they’ll be popping up much more frequently in the near future.

Tag clouds are just one tactic to make it easier to use a site. Contact our Strategy & Insights Director Lori Yeager () if you’re ready to deliver a more intuitive user experience.