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On the Beauty and Usability of Tag Clouds

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5 Author(s)

Tag clouds are text-based visual representations of a set of tags usually depicting tag importance by font size. Recent trends in social and collaborative software have greatly increased the popularity of this type of visualization. This paper proposes a family of novel algorithms for tag cloud layout and presents evaluation results obtained from an extensive user study and a technical evaluation. The algorithms address issues found in many common approaches, for example large whitespaces, overlapping tags and restriction to specific boundaries. The layouts computed by these algorithms are compact and clear, have small whitespaces and may feature arbitrary convex polygons as boundaries. The results of the user study and the technical evaluation enable designers to devise a combination of algorithm and parameters which produces satisfying tag cloud layouts for many application scenarios.

Published in:

Information Visualisation, 2008. IV '08. 12th International Conference

Date of Conference:

9-11 July 2008