Tuesday, September 27, 2005

two words tags

Fine. We already gave up on a having a proper tag infospace architecture with lots of proper structure. But the least we could do is come up with a working, useable interface for two-words tags (while we're at it we may want to consider generelizing it into the so-much-more-complex challange of n-words tags).

Flickr and most of the other taggers go for the single text box for multiple tags approach, which has the advantage of being so easy to use that even moms could do it. This is perfect for single-word tags. Here they also allow multi-word tags, "this way", though I bet that a lot of single-word tags were created by mistake by people forgetting "to do this".

Through the rest of the Flickr interface the issue of multi-word tags is largely ignored, and they are converted into a single word by removing all spaces in most places. Duh.

del.icio.us actively ignores the whole thing by allowing only single word tags. This is not stated exlicitely in the UI, but you just can't do multi-word tags (someone please come up with a shorter name for this quick).

Technorati does allow and acknowledge multi-word tags (argghh!) when assigning tags, using a user interface of multiple smaller text boxes array in a 4x5 table. This is somewhat less elegant, takes a lot of screen realestate, and is still somewhat confusing.

Obviously, when using single tag entry text box, space cannot be used as a delimited between the words in a mutag (there you go. short name for multi-word tags just invented). If another user interface element is used, the problem becomes much more manageable (in fact, trivial).

Too bad, since a single tag entry text box does have its charm. I'd hate having to choose between doing proper mtag support and supporting a single tag entry text box. Can't we have both somehow?

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Del.icio.us : , ,


Snowfairy said...

It'd seem trivial to me. When creating a list most english-speaking people are taught to seperate elements by using the comma.

So a single tag entry box. I'd tag your post with: tags, multi-word tags, user interface

This is intuitive, easy, understandable, quick, and aesthetically pleasing. I've been having trouble with 'tagging' services as I want to categorize my bookmarks, but, I have lots of trouble joining things into just one word.

Design has to be the bane of all my tagging, cause there's so many different kinds of 'design' work. Including graphic design, web design, etc.

If there is ever a bookmarking service with proper multi-word tag support, I'd love to hear about it.

GDAEman said...

Thanks. Nice synopsis.