User issues in top-down bottom-up tagging applications: FaceTag


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The FaceTag Engine presentation delivered at the DC Social Tagging Workshop in Milan, June 10 2009.

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User issues in top-down bottom-up tagging applications: FaceTag

  1. 1. E. Quintarelli, A. Resmini & L. Rosati The FaceTag Engine User Issues in a Bottom-up + Top-down Tagging Application DC Social Tagging Workshop Milano, June 10 2009
  2. 2. Hello DC Social Tagging People!
  3. 3. my name is Andrea Resmini I'm an Information Architect I design information spaces coordinate REG-iA, the Research & Education Group in IA founded the Journal of Information Architecture one of the designers of the FaceTag engine project
  4. 4. an issue
  5. 5. tags are flat free-form keywords liberally assigned by users collaborative tagging is widely used to organize, browse and share large online collections folksonomies are tag-based, bottom-up, user-generated emergent classification systems
  6. 6. tagging has advantages
  7. 7. trade-off between simplicity and precision
  8. 8. matches the user’s needs and language
  9. 9. inclusive, as nothing is left out
  10. 10. helps discovery and improve serendipity
  11. 11. provides free-linking superstructure
  12. 12. better than nothing
  13. 13. tagging has disadvantages
  14. 14. linguistic disadvantages polysemy, homonymy, synonymy the use of plurals, ego-tagging base-level variations
  15. 15. user experience disadvantages user interfaces (tag clouds) with self- sustaining predominance cycles visual clutter no map-making editing interfaces
  16. 16. plus
  17. 17. “Information seekers in large domains need to deal with meaningful groupings of related items in order to understand relationships, build a mental map, and decide how to proceed”
  18. 18. So, how do we move from tags to meaningful groupings and how do we navigate them?
  19. 19. a number of tools and techniques have been proposed
  20. 20. among them, clustering and faceted classification have been used in the past
  21. 21. but
  22. 22. clustering geerates messy groups, conflates many different dimensions and does not allow refinement and follow-up queries
  23. 23. − facets are orthogonal descriptors within a metadata system that represent semantic properties, part of a top-down paradigm
  24. 24. so what?
  25. 25.  a new metadata ecology  a middle ground between the pure democracy of bottom-up tagging and the empirical determinism of top-down taxonomies
  26. 26. facets + tags = FaceTag
  27. 27. faceTag introduces a multidimensional, semantically richer paradigm based on the CRG faceted theory which provides tag hierarchies system facets to which tag hierarchies are assigned seamless browsing and searching
  28. 28. faceTag then allows to add structure and context to flat tags navigate along several dimensions simultaneously refine and broaden filtering criteria on the fly, with no dead ends (engaging and zooming)
  29. 29. tags are contextualized
  30. 30.  large tag clouds can be sectioned
  31. 31.  recognition is favoured over recall
  32. 32.  exploration, discovery and iterative query refinement are supported
  33. 33. As facets are particularly suitable to classify homogeneous collections, the combination of facets + tags amplifies both the information scent and berry- picking capabilities of the system
  34. 34. this happens along the two axes of IA the vertical paradigmatic axis, where similar tags on the same facet are recalled and the horizontal syntagmatic axis, where all other tags pertaining to the same facet are recalled and suggested
  35. 35. it works, but we found issues
  36. 36. user experience issues
  37. 37. front-end allowing choice, zooming and navigation allowing large numbers of tags structuring the facets display
  38. 38. back-end entering tags having no back-end via browser bookmarklets
  39. 39. first iteration
  40. 40. uses metaphors from other tagging applications (, Rawsugar) introduces a visual top-to-bottom hierarchy among facets has a 'duct tape and some glue' feeling to it goes against some common UI principles
  41. 41. second iteration
  42. 42. designed using a UCD approach paper and HTML prototyping small groups of users involved few people, many sessions
  43. 43. and now in full color
  44. 44. facet panels have been moved
  45. 45. for more tags, panels slide in
  46. 46. x
  47. 47. issues in the back-end are still to be thoroughly investigated
  48. 48. thank you!