Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report:
"We who make websites must strike a fine balance between guiding our users and allowing them to lead us. We listen but we also synthesize and invent. We conduct user research but we interpret the results. We ask what users want but we decide what they are really telling us and we, not they, determine how best to fulfill the needs they didn't necessarily realize they were articulating.

Tag clouds remove the guidance and artistry from our side of the equation, offloading all the work to our users. What�s popular? What�s important? Users decide. This might be okay if the process did not create a false intellectual equivalence between high- and low-level topics, and if it did not skew toward popularity at the expense of findability."

Interesting, according to the article "tagging" gets rid of hierarchy as a street named Eight Mile might be ranked equal to the city of Detroit. (from what I understand) I dont see how it matters though. This seems to be a case for portals (where you have hierarchy), and against tagging. Daypop and Blogdex though have nothing to do with how I use tags. For instance, when I am at flickr, searching for pictures of Pakistan, I type Pakistan as the tag term. I get pictures that fall under Pakistan. If I did not find the picture I was looking for, narrow the tag search, or widen it. It works.