On the beauty and usability of tag clouds

Christin Seifert, Barbara Kump, Wolfgang Kienreich, Gisela Granitzer, Michael Granitzer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    95 Citations (Scopus)


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2008 12th International Conference Information Visualisation
    Subtitle of host publicationLondon, UK, 9-11 July 2008
    Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)978-0-7695-3268-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event12th International Conference Information Visualisation, IV 2008 - London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 Jul 200811 Jul 2008
    Conference number: 12

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the International Conference on Information Visualisation (IV)
    ISSN (Print)1550-6037
    ISSN (Electronic)2375-0138


    Conference12th International Conference Information Visualisation, IV 2008
    Abbreviated titleIV
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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