Although there are many forms of organization on the Web, one of the most prominent ways to organize web content and websites are tags. Tags are keywords or terms that are assigned to a specific piece of content in order to help users understand the common relationships between pieces of content. Tags can either be assigned by an algorithm, the author, or the community. These tags can also be organized into tag clouds, which are visual representations of the structure and organization contained implicitly within these tags. Importantly, little is known on how we use these different tagging structures to understand the content and structure of a given site. This project examines 2 different characteristics of tagging structures: font size and spatial orientation. In order to examine how these different characteristics might interact with individual differences in attentional control, a measure of working memory capacity (WMC) was included. The results showed that spatial relationships affect how well users understand the structure of a website. WMC was not shown to have any significant effect; neither was varying the font size. These results should better inform how tags and tag clouds are used on the Web, and also provide an estimation of what properties to include when designing and implementing a tag cloud on a website.
- The impact of working memory, tags, and tag clouds, on search of websites
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by Steven Banas