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 proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

94 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 - 9 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes
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


Dive into the research topics of 'On the beauty and usability of tag clouds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this