Oh shit, it's a walk-off! June 17, 2008 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Tags page redesign vote-off: which is better A? or B?

Tag clouds were shiny and new in 2005, but we realized long ago they're kinda useless (check out the existing mefi one for reference).

So instead of doing the last 150 and sizing them up by popularity (with its weird font/layout issues), we wanted to make something more manageable that looked nice. These two redos de-emphasize the absolute popularity aspect of each tag, but they're still the 150 most popular and I think both do a good job of making topics easy to spot and find.

So which do you like better, A or B?
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 4:11 PM (384 comments total)

personally, I like the A list looking one better for purely aesthetic reasons but either one feels like a big improvement over the existing one
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:11 PM on June 17, 2008


The delegate from Astoria, Queens casts his vote for A!
posted by jonmc at 4:13 PM on June 17, 2008


A is satisfying to me...
posted by Pantengliopoli at 4:15 PM on June 17, 2008


I like B because I hate scrolling.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:16 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm going to say B-- it reads more naturally to me.

We need to get some Q, Y and Z tags in there. Seriously, nobody has questions about Quebec, Yahtzee or zoologists?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:17 PM on June 17, 2008


A; but B does involve less scrolling.
posted by advil at 4:17 PM on June 17, 2008


A is prettier and seems easier to read but there'll be scaling issues if certain letters get gobs more tags. B makes it faster to page down to the letter I'm looking for and scan to find a tag. I will not, however, be satisfied until it's standards compliant.
posted by stet at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2008


A. It's fresh and new. Not to mention insouciant, cheeky, alluring and more than a little phallic.

(It is in short, not in keeping with the rest of the site design, but in a way that pleases me.)
posted by Jofus at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


My first impression was A is better, everything all divided and such.

On second glance, I think B is better because it's cleaner and takes up less real estate. A possible problem with B is that when the list grows it gets more cluttery but i still like B better.
posted by chococat at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2008


i like tag clouds :(
posted by empath at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2008


Please note: I am always wrong about these things.
posted by Jofus at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks better. B is more functionally useful.
posted by netbros at 4:19 PM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I fail at the internets. I was going to link to the ISO standard for controlled vocabularies and imply that the tags should be replaced by trained indexers but I didn't preview and I'm very sorry and I'll never to it again.
posted by stet at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2008


I still like the cloud style better than either of these. It contains information the proposed replacements don't, and it fits on one page in my browser with no scrolling, which the other 2 do not.
posted by contraption at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by modofo at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2008


Much like empath, I like tag clouds. But if change is required, I much prefer A over B.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:21 PM on June 17, 2008


More useful suggestion:

What about breaking the tags down by category instead of by letter? Or by category and by letter? That would give you duplicate tags, but maybe make it easier to find the one you're looknig for?
posted by empath at 4:21 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


B, because there's no scrolling. Or, on reading, exactly what Jessamyn said.
posted by booksherpa at 4:21 PM on June 17, 2008


Ie: 20 most popular tags under computer/technology, etc... )
posted by empath at 4:21 PM on June 17, 2008


B. The differing word lengths in A are jarring (ok, messy) for me.
posted by carbide at 4:22 PM on June 17, 2008


A. And it's a motherfuckin' walkoff. (that was the best line evarrrrr)
posted by CwgrlUp at 4:25 PM on June 17, 2008


B seems easier to use.
posted by ersatzkat at 4:25 PM on June 17, 2008


A WOULD VISIT AGAIN
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:26 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by tristeza at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2008


B with indents.
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2008


Well, if it's gotta change, B. But the cloud is better.
posted by contraption at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2008


A. I think it makes the individual tags stand out more, rather than just sort of slur together.

Plus, in B, the W's extra width is more apparent. It shoves the rest of the line about half a character over. Pushy fucker, that W.
posted by CKmtl at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2008


B. I hate scrolling.
posted by optovox at 4:30 PM on June 17, 2008


(and I'll miss the weighting)
posted by Artw at 4:31 PM on June 17, 2008


columns
posted by theora55 at 4:31 PM on June 17, 2008


What chococat said. B is the correct answer.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:33 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by RussHy at 4:33 PM on June 17, 2008


B.
posted by chimaera at 4:33 PM on June 17, 2008


I like A.
posted by routergirl at 4:33 PM on June 17, 2008


B is more functional and has a very clear read path.

(A seems a bit less useable and says "index" rather than popular tags to me.)
posted by Gucky at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2008


jonmc said:
"The delegate from Astoria, Queens casts his vote for A!"

We never elected you, sir. Anyway, looks like so far the population is split, as I cast my vote for B.
posted by self at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2008


Assuming it's gonna change (as I prefer the tag cloud over the two proposed options), my vote is for B.
Further assuming there's room for improvement outside of the two propositions, may I suggest combining the two options? I'd take two of the columns from A and the horizontal comma delineation from B, with two or three lines max per letter. I can't decide whether |A|M| or |A|B| would have better flow, though.
posted by carsonb at 4:35 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks better, but B will scale better, so I vote for B.
posted by Class Goat at 4:36 PM on June 17, 2008


A. I find it hard to parse out the individual entries in B as I'm scanning through them. I think I'll find things within the A lists faster.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:37 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by micayetoca at 4:37 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks nice and is easy to read, so I say A.
I thought B was too cluttered and hard to read at a glance.
posted by gemmy at 4:39 PM on June 17, 2008


I like B and anyone who says they like the other gets a free neckpunch!
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:39 PM on June 17, 2008


A.

And for everyone who wasn't aware, the HTML for "big text" doesn't work here, as I just now found out.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 4:40 PM on June 17, 2008


I hate tag clouds, so I vote for either of these.
posted by aubilenon at 4:40 PM on June 17, 2008


You don't need to worry about scaling as you choose because this page is only the 150 most popular tags. It won't get bigger.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:41 PM on June 17, 2008


Wait a minute, I fell for a ploy like this in grade school. This is basically a psychology profile/poll of the MeFi user base, right? It's like, if I choose "A" I'm a Mac-loving, tree-hugging, pot-smoking cat-person who ride bikes, if I choose "B" I prefer PCs, grain alcohol and dogs? Right? Well then, I choose alternative Ø, because I'm just that outre; my mohawk's on the inside of my skull and I build replicas of steampunk things out of shiny aluminium and I've got a tattoo of a tattoo and YOU JUST CAN'T LABEL ME MAN
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:42 PM on June 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


A
posted by Mikey-San at 4:43 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks prettier, though I suspect B is more useful. I vote A anyway.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:43 PM on June 17, 2008


Unless B means I prefer PCs, alcohol and dogs.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:44 PM on June 17, 2008


A. Much easier to navigate and looks quicker even if scrolling is necessary.
posted by null terminated at 4:44 PM on June 17, 2008


Because I do.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:44 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by reflecked at 4:46 PM on June 17, 2008


B. A makes my eyes jump around to search for things.
posted by bobobox at 4:47 PM on June 17, 2008


B, though I like the tag cloud, & now I'm pondering how a tag cloud with clustering would look.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:47 PM on June 17, 2008


Much preferring B, as in 'Better', thank you. A I would say is for 'Ass'.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:48 PM on June 17, 2008


B's great...less filling.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:49 PM on June 17, 2008


I prefer the tag clouds, but if you insist on changing it B, because I also hate scrolling.
posted by nooneyouknow at 4:49 PM on June 17, 2008


B, because A introduces the awful possibility of side-scrolling if I'm looking at mefi on a small monitor.
posted by dersins at 4:49 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A.
posted by dhammond at 4:51 PM on June 17, 2008


A. People voting for B are heretics and will suffer the hellfires of eternal damnation.
posted by adamrice at 4:51 PM on June 17, 2008


I was all for A until I read stet's comment. B.
posted by WCityMike at 4:52 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by tkolar at 4:53 PM on June 17, 2008


B.

Cleaner, simpler.
posted by Kattullus at 4:53 PM on June 17, 2008


I like A.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:54 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2008


I like A too.
posted by Jimbob at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2008


SO TOTALLY B IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY.
posted by exceptinsects at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2008


B for less scrollage.
posted by danb at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by justgary at 4:57 PM on June 17, 2008


Good Looks, Nice Layout. A+++++
posted by SteveTheRed at 4:58 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:58 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


B
posted by desjardins at 4:58 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by nola at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2008


To be or not to be?

B
posted by ersatz at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2008


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
posted by loiseau at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2008


wait, no, A.

(I voted for B before I voted against it.)
posted by desjardins at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2008


Oh, and why do people like tag clouds? What extra information do they provide? That IRAQ has been used slightly more than JAPAN, but I have to put on my reading glasses if I want to find LIFE? They've always been a poor representation of data, IMAO. Lists have stood the test of time.
posted by Jimbob at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2008


B OR GTFO
posted by mullacc at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by Asparagirl at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2008


Tag clouds are popular for a reason. It's easy to figure out how popular a tag is by simply glancing. I think it's rare that people will visit the most popular tags to search for a specific one, so the alphabetical structure doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

But A. Because the other one is ugly.
(Like donkey anus ugly. Nobody pick B please, ok?)

posted by theiconoclast31 at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


B
posted by Gary at 5:01 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks better, but has scaling issues

B looks a bit dated but loads faster.

That said I never used the tag cloud and will probably never use either of these pages.

Now if you can do some sort of better smart grouping or stemming (jobs/job, wifi/wireless, apple/mac, gift/gifts to name just a few on the sample page) that is something I could really get behind.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:02 PM on June 17, 2008


What, no C?

A gets my vote.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:03 PM on June 17, 2008


A, because looking at B kind of bothered my eyes. Too much information in a crowded way, makes it hard for me to get what I want quickly.
posted by Ms. Saint at 5:04 PM on June 17, 2008


A all the way.
posted by sperose at 5:04 PM on June 17, 2008


A is pretty, B will expand better. Consider any of those entries with a few hundred words, in A it will push the next line way down.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:06 PM on June 17, 2008


Don't like either honestly.
posted by Skorgu at 5:08 PM on June 17, 2008


Now if you can do some sort of better smart grouping or stemming

We talked about stemming briefly and I was all "omg, hrn hrn hrn... let's figure out the seventybillion ways to make this system perfect...!!!" and then they were like "hmm, let's just do A and B and ask them."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:08 PM on June 17, 2008


This is going to be like the site redesign contest, so no matter how you vote, what actually happens is that the old tags page will end up more or less unchanged but with some extra diagonal pinstripes on it.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:11 PM on June 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


I feel like I'm at my optometrist.

Which one is clearer? A or B?

A...or...B?

This one....this one?

One... or... two?

Can I see the first one again? Wait. Let's try the last set again. I DON'T KNOW. I... JUST... DON'T... KNOW.....

Actually, I do. A.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:11 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn: I can dream can't I?
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:13 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:16 PM on June 17, 2008


A. Columns please!
posted by chrisbucks at 5:16 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by lysistrata at 5:17 PM on June 17, 2008


Whaaat B is so much better
posted by shownomercy at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by Craig at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2008


A; B looks a bit cluttered.
posted by swapspace at 5:19 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by languagehat at 5:19 PM on June 17, 2008


As the great Arthur Fonzerelli once said: "A"
posted by mmahaffie at 5:19 PM on June 17, 2008


Netbros is right, but I'm gonna say go with the pretty.
posted by juv3nal at 5:20 PM on June 17, 2008


we realized long ago they're kinda useless
How so? The existing tag cloud has all the information you want to re-represent + the MOST popular.
I haven't taken that much notice of tags in the past but I see there's a fair bit of redundancy because of plurals:
blog/s
book/s
car/s
cat/s
computer/s
gift/s
job/s
movie/s
relationship/s
As well as this sort:
auto/car
children/kids
film/movie
new (often, but not always)/newyork/nyc
television/tv
Unavoidable, I suppose.
I'd like to be able to see ALL tags used. Is there somewhere I can view that?
Oh! and I vote B.
posted by tellurian at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by bluefly at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2008


A makes it easier to see what's in the list.
posted by qwip at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A is faster to browse for me.
posted by starman at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2008


I prefer A. It's much easier to make out individual tags there.

B is too dense and I find myself only skimming the top, the bottom, and the left edge.
posted by ardgedee at 5:26 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by scblackman at 5:26 PM on June 17, 2008


I like B because I only have to look down to find a letter, whereas with A, I have to look down and across.
posted by prefpara at 5:27 PM on June 17, 2008


B. Much more readable.
posted by jbickers at 5:30 PM on June 17, 2008


B makes better use of the space.
posted by saturnine at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2008


Obviously A is superior. It's distressing the I have to share the planet with people who prefer B.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:33 PM on June 17, 2008


One vote for "A."
posted by pwb503 at 5:33 PM on June 17, 2008


A for the win. Silly silly people with no sense of design.
posted by Phire at 5:34 PM on June 17, 2008


I vote A!
posted by metaname at 5:36 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by meerkatty at 5:38 PM on June 17, 2008


A. It's less space-saving, true, but so much easier to parse. And prettier. And a relatively uncommon approach.
posted by mumkin at 5:39 PM on June 17, 2008


I find myself attracted to the idea of tag clouds because the text does double duty. But the idea doesn't work for a dataset as rich as the Metafilter tag database because the text does only double duty. If you compare the tag clouds for Metafilter and AskMe, you get the sense that Metafilter posts tend to fall more commonly into a couple dozen topics, while AskMes are distributed more evenly. But since the tag clouds seem to represent statistics on the entire history of Metafilter, they have a kind of permanence that doesn't invite frequent use. How long will "9-11," labelling about 500 posts, be the first thing in the Metafilter tag cloud? Even if no one ever used that tag again, it will be years and years before there are 500 "amusing" or "math" posts.

In both replacement schemes, the tag names are single-duty: they are alphabetical lists, and you have to leave the list to learn anything else about any tag. The compactness of "B" is a little better, but neither seems to invite exploring the way a tag cloud does.

I'd be interested to see how the tag clouds changed if the ordering were the date of the most recent post, rather than alphabetical. Probably some greaseinfo could do that from the monkeydump, or however that works.

"B" sort of suggests a text histogram, though the data being histogrammed is just the frequency of tags in each letter of the alphabet. A useful text histogram might look like
most recent popular tag ---------
a more common tag ---------------------------------------
and so on. Clicking the word takes you to a tag search; each - links to an old question, with the title in the hoverover text, sorted by age, so the links get older as you move down the page and to the right. Links to posts you have seen before are magically a different color because browser history works. You could use a change in type size to suggest the number of comments --- or number of favorites or some such. You have some sense of what's been popular ever, some sense of what people are talking about lately, some sense of where there are new things for you to explore, and many different jumping-off directions.

I probably wouldn't use "A" or "B" any more than I have used the tag clouds, but I prefer "B."
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:41 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


B because scrolling is for video games.
posted by iamabot at 5:41 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by pixlboi at 5:47 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by onalark at 5:47 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by SlyBevel at 5:51 PM on June 17, 2008


B for teh win!
posted by Busithoth at 5:52 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by yhbc at 5:53 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by pompomtom at 5:55 PM on June 17, 2008


In both replacement schemes, the tag names are single-duty.

I guess this is were my lack of understanding of tag clouds lies - what is the purpose of this page? Is it somewhere people go to see what hot topics are often discussed on Metafilter? Or is it somewhere to go so they can see which hot topics are relatively hotter than others? I've never really got my head around why that second case is so desirable, especially since the most interesting tags are also often the smaller, hidden ones. And tag clouds give a poor visual representation of relative use anyway. Histogram would be simple and accurate. Simply sorting tags in order of popularity would give the tags "double-duty". Tag clouds serve the large, most popular tags at the expensive of hiding the smaller, less popular tags.

As said in the original post, "These two redos de-emphasize the absolute popularity aspect of each tag" - good, what's wrong with that? Why do we need to know the relative popularity of tags that we already know are all popular?
posted by Jimbob at 5:57 PM on June 17, 2008


I am adding a note here because the perfect storm of fantabulous timewaster's small tags hitting my recent comments just so
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:59 PM on June 17, 2008


has basically made my whole recent comments page teeny.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:59 PM on June 17, 2008


I think it will be fixed now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:59 PM on June 17, 2008


+1 vote for A
posted by milestogo at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2008


B > A
posted by trip and a half at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2008


A!
posted by the other side at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2008


I also think a teeny recent comments page would be interesting
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 6:04 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:07 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by dilettante at 6:14 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by interrobang at 6:22 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by Any Moose In a Storm at 6:30 PM on June 17, 2008


I vote A. I get a better sense of the different tags; they all tend to run together and become an indistinct blob in B.

And people need to stop talking so much about things that begin with 'c.' It really throws all the column lengths off and it bugs me just a smidge.
posted by lilac girl at 6:32 PM on June 17, 2008


Neither, though B is better for not having to scroll. It seems odd to list them by alphabet. Why not just list the top 100, minus the font resizing foolishness? throw in some extra between words or list them in column

Whatever you choose, that yellow on green is MUCH harder to read than the yellow on blue. Maybe white instead?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A
posted by DarkForest at 6:34 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by mattbucher at 6:37 PM on June 17, 2008


B, but I would prefer it in two columns.
posted by dhruva at 6:45 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by cerebus19 at 6:52 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by ddaavviidd at 6:56 PM on June 17, 2008


A and B look printed and static.
The tag cloud is kind of messy but it's alive.
I like the idea of categories (20) rather than the alphabet (26).
If there weren't weird font/layout issues, I would try moderately weighted tags by category as in B (with praline ice-cream on the side).
posted by bru at 6:56 PM on June 17, 2008


C, where C = keep/enhance existing page.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:59 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by sugarfish at 6:59 PM on June 17, 2008


A is better. The list form is easier to scan for what I'm looking for rather than the line form that B utilizes. Scrolling sucks, but at least with A style I can find what I need.
posted by i less than three nsima at 6:59 PM on June 17, 2008


Well, I like the tag cloud, because it's somewhat interesting to see which tags of the 150 are the most popular and it's a breezy and totally functional layout; but I have not and probably will not ever use this page.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:00 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by jedicus at 7:01 PM on June 17, 2008


Functional for the user, I should say.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:01 PM on June 17, 2008


B.
posted by gyusan at 7:02 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by Dizzy at 7:04 PM on June 17, 2008


A. It feels easier on the eyes.
posted by amyms at 7:05 PM on June 17, 2008


I prefer B. Less scrolling; looks more balanced.
posted by ErWenn at 7:05 PM on June 17, 2008


A. It's easier to scan within each letter's tags to find the one I need. B looks nicer at first glance, though.
posted by stefanie at 7:06 PM on June 17, 2008


I suppose if I had a clue what these tags were used for, I might have an opinion about which is better. As presented, the tag cloud says 'oughties' as loudly as disco says '70s', and that's about all it does. The other formats have only the 'why should I care about this?' problem.

Seriously, what would you (or anyone) learn from a list of the 150 most popular tags?
posted by hexatron at 7:07 PM on June 17, 2008


A is for Awesome.
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:07 PM on June 17, 2008


Actually, the more I think about it and look at examples of other tag clouds, the more I like tag clouds and think you shouldn't change it. They're easy to understand, while the alphabetical listing seems awkward. My only suggestion would be to keep font in tag clouds from getting too large or small, but having differences in size helps differentiate the worlds. You're saying tag clouds are useless, but I don't understand that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by ColdChef at 7:11 PM on June 17, 2008


hey - is anybody - you know - counting these or anything?
posted by yhbc at 7:13 PM on June 17, 2008


I'd rather have them listed from most popular to least, actually. If I were looking for "cars" then I would use ctrl-f to find it on the page. Arranging them alphabetically doesn't offer any useful information.
posted by Gary at 7:15 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


A because it looks better. You, or at least I, have to scroll with either page.
posted by deborah at 7:19 PM on June 17, 2008


The status quo. But if we're definitely changing, then B over A.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 7:20 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by roll truck roll at 7:22 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by vincele at 7:25 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks better but B works better so I vote for B.
posted by shothotbot at 7:28 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by readery at 7:34 PM on June 17, 2008


So, how are we going to tally it?
posted by micayetoca at 7:35 PM on June 17, 2008


I would like to do this the way I always chose which group to agree with when I was in school: which one has more hot chicks in it?

No? Can't do that? Well, I'll go with "A" and hope.
posted by maxwelton at 7:39 PM on June 17, 2008


I say let cortex do it.

Anyone?
posted by yhbc at 7:39 PM on June 17, 2008


A.A.A.A.A.A.
posted by jeanmari at 7:45 PM on June 17, 2008


B, although i don't really care because i very rarely notice or use tags.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:47 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by dawson at 7:50 PM on June 17, 2008


B. Scrolling is evil.
posted by donnagirl at 7:54 PM on June 17, 2008


So, how are we going to tally it?

Each person receives one vote multiplied by the number of favorites they've earned and divided by their user number. These are then summed for each district in order to choose an elector. The elector will represent you at a meet up in August where a scheme is chosen.
posted by Gary at 7:55 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


A.
posted by crossoverman at 8:07 PM on June 17, 2008


B.
posted by cashman at 8:08 PM on June 17, 2008


A all the way...I just MAY eat some HAY, I can make things out of CLAY...
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:08 PM on June 17, 2008


A is prettier and still usable.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:10 PM on June 17, 2008


A is much more readable....A!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 8:10 PM on June 17, 2008


A, but also a fan of the cloud.
posted by pointystick at 8:13 PM on June 17, 2008


B.
posted by Shohn at 8:15 PM on June 17, 2008


barnacles always starts with 'B', and it will grow better as popular tags are added to the list, and would be more conducive to smaller displays and phone screens and the like.
posted by barnacles at 8:16 PM on June 17, 2008


Of the two options, B is less pretty but I strongly prefer it. As far as I'm concerned you could even leave off the letter starting each line (assuming line spacing is different than paragraph spacing). It solves the left alignment problem caused by a wide "W" and anyway it's immediately obvious that the page is sorted alphabetically. The tags themselves tell me where I am in the alphabet (as long as the list of tags is dense enough). Just one heathen's opinion.

I agree that if the list is limited by popularity, then a tag cloud adds an extra dimension of information.
posted by cairnish at 8:19 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A
posted by timeistight at 8:26 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by sulaine at 8:27 PM on June 17, 2008


B
posted by Caduceus at 8:37 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by yeoz at 8:37 PM on June 17, 2008


I'm way down here and nobody's reading anything anymore, but here's why A is actually better than B. I considered the scrolling issue first and thought I would prefer that, but comparing the tags within the alphabetic categories, it's easier if they are vertical, the eye will be able to scan through the first three/four letters of a word. Horizontally, as in B, each of the tag words needs to be read in order to get to the next.

A. (because lists are vertical, and sentences are horizontal).
posted by b33j at 8:43 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A, absolutely.
posted by Khalad at 8:57 PM on June 17, 2008


Can I cast my vote for a new voting mechanism? Posting in a thread is so 1988.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:57 PM on June 17, 2008


B.
posted by boubelium at 9:01 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:16 PM on June 17, 2008


.A
posted by jmd82 at 9:18 PM on June 17, 2008


Fuckin' A.
posted by Asherah at 9:18 PM on June 17, 2008


A because it's more readable and better to expand.

But could we add, at the top of the page, links to jump to the letter or range of letters you want? A row of the alphabet across the top? Or A-F G-L M-S etc.? For the scroll haters in our midst?
posted by tula at 9:24 PM on June 17, 2008


How about a quick search box with ajax autocomplete! Then you can totally forget formatting.
posted by empath at 9:40 PM on June 17, 2008


A.

From my perspective, it's cleaner and faster to parse, even though it takes more scrolling.

I like lots of info in a small space, but A seems more efficient, even though it's larger.
posted by Malor at 9:49 PM on June 17, 2008



B
posted by nenequesadilla at 9:49 PM on June 17, 2008


A+++++++++++++++ WOULD VOTE FOR "A" AGAIN!11!!11
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:59 PM on June 17, 2008


I'd be grateful if you'd preserve the tag cloud version (or some version that shows the relative popularity of these tags) somewhere. I think the relative-popularity information is probably the most interesting info a popular tags page can give, since people don't (I take it) usually use it as an entry point to the db for any specific tag they're wondering about.

Maybe a page with relative popularity info for the top 150, and then another page that can serve as index/entry point for information seekers, with say the top 500 tags all the same size and done roughly in format A or B?
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:01 PM on June 17, 2008


A looks more "award winning". B looks more usable.
posted by dws at 10:17 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by delmoi at 10:18 PM on June 17, 2008


but add some keyboard navigation. You ought to be able to press a key on the keyboard, and have it skip to that letter.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


C ...for "Cloud" ....or "Can't we just keep the old one?" ....or "Change? BOO!"
posted by Squee at 10:24 PM on June 17, 2008


B.

But: if-A-is-chosen-pony: please include current rank (#1 to #150) next to each tag.
posted by not_on_display at 10:24 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:25 PM on June 17, 2008


A.
posted by davejay at 10:25 PM on June 17, 2008


B. How can any of you even read A?
posted by eamondaly at 10:45 PM on June 17, 2008


Having now *scrolled* through 200-odd responses.... Why not make it a user preference?


I prefer my tags:

[ ] in the cloud
[ ] up and down
[x] compact


posted by pjern at 10:50 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A
Couldn't this have been done with a button? X or Y vote now , vote often?
posted by adamvasco at 11:15 PM on June 17, 2008


Polls functionality! EVERYBODY LOVES POLLS!
posted by Artw at 11:22 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by andraste at 11:22 PM on June 17, 2008


A
posted by Krrrlson at 11:24 PM on June 17, 2008


I want the clean columnar layout of 'A', but the fitting-on-one-screen-ness of 'B'. Any chance we could get both?

Would it be possible to use 'A', but with a little column balancing thrown in? So that each column would have at least three but at most, say, 8-10 items (eliminating orphans). C would be turned into 2-3 columns; J & K would share a vertical block; same with U & V. It would be difficult to get perfect, but maybe an interesting thing to program, no?

I realize that there are usability compromises with having some letters sharing a column chunk and some spread between two columns - the latter case in particular introduces the chance that people will assume they've read all of 'C' when they've only read the first half. Still, having everything fit on one screen would be great, and I think the left-aligned column list might be much easier to read than the 'B' approach.
posted by amtho at 11:51 PM on June 17, 2008


For the record, I'll be grateful with either 'A' or 'B'. Just thinking outside the... oh wait, where did it go?
posted by amtho at 11:53 PM on June 17, 2008


A is awful. Absolutely unreadable. Unbalanced and awkward. Utterly unusable.

B isn't much better. How does an alphabetical index help at all? Who is browsing popular tags, and what do they want to see? How does an alphabetical list improve things? Wouldn't they want to see what is more popular rather than what letter something happens to start with?

I don't necessarily know the answer to that, but these pages don't seem to be an improvement in any data organization sense. It seems you're taking something that was only marginally useful to begin with and making it less so. I would think that if you just want to do away with the "cloud" format, you would start by listing the tags in order from most to least popular.
posted by team lowkey at 11:54 PM on June 17, 2008


Why didn't you just post an A and a B in this thread and ask MeFites to favorite the one they prefer? Anyways, comment #216 is my vote for B.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:58 PM on June 17, 2008


Er, 217
posted by iamkimiam at 11:58 PM on June 17, 2008


team lowkey: so am I to understand that you feel A is for Awful, Absolutely (unreadable), And Awkward? B is Better? And for Browsing?
posted by iamkimiam at 12:01 AM on June 18, 2008


B please.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:17 AM on June 18, 2008


20,000 Ask Metafilter posts using the 150 most common tags [quick-n-dirty self link, 2.5MB]
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:20 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


A is easier for me.
posted by owhydididoit at 12:23 AM on June 18, 2008


A looks lovely and fresh. B looks unreadable.
posted by Skyanth at 12:23 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by awfurby at 12:34 AM on June 18, 2008


I didn't read through all of the comments so I don't know if this has been asked yet but is there a reason that all three couldn't coexist? Couldn't there be some sort of submenu that could allow you to choose between them? Maybe even put an option in preferences to determine what my "default" option would be when I opened the tag page?

If this is, in fact, a duel to the death then my vote is with A. May God have mercy on the souls of the losers.
posted by CuJoe at 1:46 AM on June 18, 2008


B. Clearly.

Cleaner and more functional, with less scrolling. And for those with tiny monitors, (cell phones, etc.) less or no scrolling within a letter.
posted by orthogonality at 2:23 AM on June 18, 2008


A. But the question regarding having all of them is valid; I like options. Possible to have a choice in our profiles maybe to change it?

Still, A.
posted by Stunt at 2:50 AM on June 18, 2008


B for me.

This reminds me of a visit to the eye doctor: Is it better like this, or like this?
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:30 AM on June 18, 2008


B fo snizzle
posted by terrapin at 3:51 AM on June 18, 2008


Don't leave it up to the plebes, Matt. Notice that regardless of actual numbers, jessamyn and I have voted for B.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:54 AM on June 18, 2008


I have to scroll for both options, which I have no problem with. A is my choice, because I can read it, but B looks like a jumble of diificulty.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:56 AM on June 18, 2008


A. Those people saying that other letter, the letter we don't speak of - they're agents of a foreign power, infiltrating our society in an attempt to destroy us from the inside. Do not listen to their insidious whisperings.
posted by flashboy at 4:11 AM on June 18, 2008


Those people saying that other letter, the letter we don't speak of...

They hate our freedoms.

Actually, they hate Matt's freedoms.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2008


Metafilter: a jumble of diificulty.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2008


And, hey, mathowie, you know what you're doing, right?

You're TEARING METAFILTER APART.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:39 AM on June 18, 2008


i still prefer the cloud - maybe if the text was smaller - more tags - more cloudyness, a & b are too tidy for me, not jumping out or anything.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:41 AM on June 18, 2008


And don't listen to Meatbomb, Matt. Hell, the Canadians still have his laptop, what does he know?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by rottytooth at 5:00 AM on June 18, 2008


Definitely A.
posted by Grither at 5:19 AM on June 18, 2008


I like B - less scrolling and quicker reading.
posted by betty botter at 5:23 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by ZeroAmbition at 5:47 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by Durin's Bane at 5:47 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by xena at 5:59 AM on June 18, 2008


Late to this thread, but I definitely like A.
posted by genefinder at 6:01 AM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by killy willy at 6:01 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by rpn at 6:06 AM on June 18, 2008


would it be out of the question to set our choice individually in our profile preferences? I don't have a favorite, but both are better than the tag cloud.
posted by sambosambo at 6:06 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by rtha at 6:10 AM on June 18, 2008


A.




Can my sock puppets vote, too?
posted by mds35 at 6:30 AM on June 18, 2008


What's with all the divisiveness? Aren't you guys Uniters, not Dividers?
Why can't we just all come together under one, big, all-encompassing TAG?

But, B is better.
posted by Balisong at 6:57 AM on June 18, 2008


That's LetterWang!
posted by not_on_display at 7:02 AM on June 18, 2008


B!
posted by contessa at 7:04 AM on June 18, 2008


B.
posted by Brian B. at 7:06 AM on June 18, 2008


A: more readable. scrolling is painless.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:14 AM on June 18, 2008


COLUMNS! COLUMNS!

We can put flowers in our hair and get streamers and dance around columns.

But really: "A: more readable. scrolling is painless."
posted by crush-onastick at 7:19 AM on June 18, 2008


You're TEARING METAFILTER APART.
I hope that 'A' will do the right thing for the site and concede gracefully as soon as possible so that we can move on and begin the healing process.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:19 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


A. But then I like PCs, alcohol and dogs, too.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:29 AM on June 18, 2008


A.

I found it easier to find a particular tag using this layout. I'm not sure I fully understand the scalability case for B, if there are only ever going to be 150 tags on the page.
posted by nthdegx at 7:33 AM on June 18, 2008


A. I see the arguments against scrolling, but the vertical lists of tags are more readable.

Problem with A is all the white space created by letters with disproportionate numbers of tags, ie "c" - any way to double up the columns in those cases?
posted by yarrow at 7:36 AM on June 18, 2008


A.
posted by DreamerFi at 7:47 AM on June 18, 2008


Here's a mockup of tags in columns or one paragraph.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:47 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by Navelgazer at 7:51 AM on June 18, 2008


I like A. Actually I like pjern's idea, but failing that: A.
posted by penduluum at 7:51 AM on June 18, 2008


A is like the pretty girl who isn't really all that interesting in bed. B is like the somewhat more plain girl who is an absolute freak.

B.
posted by quin at 7:52 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


A is way better.
posted by Perplexity at 7:58 AM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:58 AM on June 18, 2008


A. I can't wait to hear how you counted these votes.
posted by jermsplan at 7:58 AM on June 18, 2008


Why do I let myself get interested in this kind of shit? Clearly there's something wrong with me.

Through and including jermsplan's comment:

Neither/keep same/I like the tag cloud - 10
Unclear expression of preference - 8
non-voting comment - 41

Clear vote for "A" - 120
Clear vote for "B" - 86

I did not try to track duplicate votes, although I did correct for desjardin's change of vote.
posted by yhbc at 8:02 AM on June 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Another "A."
posted by ericb at 8:05 AM on June 18, 2008


Honestly? I like the current tag cloud. It's the most readable.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:08 AM on June 18, 2008


(AND the most compact, AND the most informative)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:10 AM on June 18, 2008


A.
posted by togdon at 8:13 AM on June 18, 2008


Well, "B" of course.

Signed
BozoBurgerBonanza
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 8:22 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by spec80 at 8:23 AM on June 18, 2008


B, but for the reasons you think, oh no. The B Cabal has informed me that A voters are all traitors to the realm, who will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes. So, B.
posted by Fferret at 8:28 AM on June 18, 2008


A is for an excellent grade mark. A is for A1,the suace or the general term, or even A1A, the hwy. A is A-OK. A is for Awesome. A is for A+++ would buy from again. A is Alpha dog. A is apple pie, antioxidants, America, absolutes, amazing adorable attributes.
A is not only the inital letter of the first global alphabet, but the first vowel as well. A is angels, air, ass and ah-ha!
B? B is second fiddle. B is boring, boisterous, baffling, bone-headed and bad. B is for braggart, bogat but not Bogart, bad hair day, bad skin, bad news.
B is for broccoli, banishment, beating, burnt, and Babi Yar.
B is bowel movement. B is 41 and 43. B is bats in the belfry. Boy bands. Beach Boys. Barry Manilow. And bleached blond broads with big blubber bodies and biddy bikinis.
I reaffirm my A vote, and am, as always, alert, affable and affordable, apologetic and approachable.
and also annoying.
posted by dawson at 8:29 AM on June 18, 2008


B is far better for long lists.
posted by rocket88 at 8:40 AM on June 18, 2008


Here's a mockup of tags in columns or one paragraph.

Brandon, I get a 403 restricted error trying to view those mockups.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:48 AM on June 18, 2008


I'd say B, but i'd also size the font based on the amount of popularity, sort of like the tag cloud effect but with alphabetic order.
posted by jasper411 at 8:58 AM on June 18, 2008


My vote is for A.
posted by jeversol at 9:00 AM on June 18, 2008


A, totally.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:00 AM on June 18, 2008


Matt,
My bad, forget to put the www in.

Columns. Paragraph.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by sleevener at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2008


Also, this list format seems neat, maybe without the numbers?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2008


Ooh! That one, please.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:17 AM on June 18, 2008


I like A, but either will work.
posted by Mister_A at 9:19 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by shmegegge at 9:31 AM on June 18, 2008


Still getting 403 Error > Forbidden on both pages, Brandon.
posted by Kattullus at 9:34 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:58 AM on June 18, 2008


Paste Brandon's links into your URL bar; works fine that way for me.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:03 AM on June 18, 2008


A is definitely easier for me to parse, and I vote for that.
posted by nowonmai at 10:06 AM on June 18, 2008


Thanks, Wolfdog. I really like Brandon's column approach. Simple and readable.
posted by Kattullus at 10:17 AM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:18 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by jrb223 at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by chunking express at 10:23 AM on June 18, 2008


Actually, I like A+Brandon's columns. Instead of a completely new column for each letter, just start at the next row
posted by jmd82 at 10:27 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by cgg at 10:27 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by Kevbo947 at 10:29 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by ChrisR at 10:35 AM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by infinitewindow at 10:35 AM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by sveskemus at 10:36 AM on June 18, 2008


I am still trying to understand what makes tag clouds "useless" compared to these new options. A tag cloud:
  • lists the 150 most popular tags in alphabetical order
  • gives a simple visual cue for the relative popularity of each tag within the alphabetical list
  • fits entirely within one browser page, even on a smallish monitor.
As far as I can see, the new options A and B sacrifice the second 2 items, with nothing gained but a more table-like aesthetic. They look less messy, I guess, but I thought tags were supposed to be messy. This is a folksonomy, not a curated directory, right?

The example Matt links above is a bit broken-looking, I agree, but that's mostly because there's such a wide variation of font sizes, with most tags clustered at the ends of the spectrum. Compare it to the cloud for Ask, which I think is much more usable: nothing's ridiculously huge, nothing's too small to read. Why not keep the clouds, but alter the maximum and minimum font sizes so nothing blows out the formatting?
posted by contraption at 10:41 AM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 AM on June 18, 2008


You could provide both, make one a default, and allow changes through the profile editor.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:52 AM on June 18, 2008


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

*takes deep breath*

I can do this all day long, folks.

*takes deep breath*

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Oh noes! The looming shadow of the BANHAMMER!

*runs away*
posted by deborah at 11:07 AM on June 18, 2008


I like the cloud. Ideally, you'd offer the option of a faceted cloud -- take the top 10 or 20 tags, and show with each their top 10 or so related tags. This probably displays the same 150 tags but in logically organized way, rather than just alpha.

But if you go with A or B, some indication of relative popularity would be nice, if not essential. Why not, in B, just put the number of cites after each tag, as you do in the related tags column during a tag search?

Or maybe, in A, some kind of bar graph next to each indicating popularity.
posted by beagle at 11:09 AM on June 18, 2008


B is cooler but A is easier on the reader.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:18 AM on June 18, 2008


C
posted by the Cabal at 11:27 AM on June 18, 2008


Contraption: it depends what you're trying to do. If you're just looking to see what's popular on the site, tag clouds are ideally suited to that task. If you are trying to find information specific to your needs, a more ordered, readable index is much easier.
If you're looking for information relevant to cats, for example, it does not help to see that "Apple" and "Blog" are more popular, since they are of no interest to you. It is not helpful that they are in a bigger point size than "cat" and "pets". The different font sizes therefore become a distraction rather than conveying useful information, as they draw your attention away from the relevant.
So tag clouds are great for getting feel of the AskMe zeitgeist, whereas a nice index of popular tags is a better tool for finding information relevant to the problem you wish to solve. I'd argue that the latter is a more useful function, but there's an argument for having both.
posted by nowonmai at 11:27 AM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by unixrat at 11:31 AM on June 18, 2008


Swear ta god, it worked on preview. Anyway:


http://www.brandonblatcher.com/metatagsparagraph.jpg

http://www.brandonblatcher.com/metatagscolumns.jpg

on preview: appears to be working.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:36 AM on June 18, 2008


Clicking 'reload' after failing to visit Brandon's links does the trick; the server is unhappy about MeFites visiting and gives an error, but if you reload the request it doesn't know where we're coming from.
posted by nowonmai at 11:56 AM on June 18, 2008


A++ WOULD TAG AGAIN

[votes for "A"]
posted by terpia at 11:57 AM on June 18, 2008


Wait, no, not clicking reload at all. Clicking once in the url bar and hitting return does it though. Please ignore me until after I've had my caffeine.
posted by nowonmai at 11:57 AM on June 18, 2008


And regarding Brandon's pics; I don't like the paragraph one at all. The column one looks nice but should be in alphabetical order if the purpose is to use the page to look up useful information. Breaking up the list into sections (Mathowie's example A) wastes space which is usefully recovered by omitting the gaps, but I think alphabetical order is a must.
Putting things in order of popularity doesn't provide useful information - the fact that 'photography' is more asked about than apple is not useful information if you have a problem with your Mac and want to quickly find a few popular Mac-related tags.
posted by nowonmai at 12:03 PM on June 18, 2008


nowonmai: while it's true that having completely unrelated tags show up in different sizes is irrelevant if you're looking for information about cats, useful information is conveyed by the relative size of related tags. As an example, take a look at the tags cat, cats and pets in the Ask cloud. You can see immediately that cat is used far more often than the other two, and start your search from there. That seems in keeping with the whole idea of having a page for the "Most Popular" tags.

One thing I've found lacking is an index of all the tags ever used. If such a page were to be created, I vote B for its format, maybe broken into sections if it gets too huge. But keep the cloud.
posted by contraption at 12:10 PM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by gfrobe at 12:16 PM on June 18, 2008


A.
posted by ourobouros at 12:16 PM on June 18, 2008


Crap, borked my link. "Ask cloud" should link to http://ask.metafilter.com/tags/ of course.
posted by contraption at 12:17 PM on June 18, 2008


A

When the tags are smooshed together (as in B), it's harder to pick out what you're looking for.
posted by chrisamiller at 12:19 PM on June 18, 2008


That's true, contraption, but that size comparison is only useful after you've isolated the relevant "cat", "cats" and "pets" tags hidden amongst the other tags in the cloud. I would rather have the relevant tags be as easy to find as possible, and then click through to each one in a new browser tab to see which had the most posts (knowing that they're all pretty popular or they wouldn't be o the page). That's what's right for me, but I understand that not everyone works the same way. Perhaps there's an argument for retaining the tag cloud? You could have this at the top of the page:
View as list | View as cloud.
posted by nowonmai at 12:21 PM on June 18, 2008


Give me an A.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:31 PM on June 18, 2008


B.

I wouldn't use A and I don't understand why so many people prefer it. B looks familiar, while A is hostile and univiting.
posted by graymouser at 12:31 PM on June 18, 2008


A.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:49 PM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by merelyglib at 1:12 PM on June 18, 2008


B.
posted by baphomet at 1:14 PM on June 18, 2008


A.

Everything in B is all smooshed together and hard to read as a result.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2008


A is hostile and univiting.

That's because it grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and had a difficult childhood. It turned to drugs at an early age and lived a rough life, due to suffering from bouts of depression which caused it to lash out in anger at anyone who made the mistake of getting close. It's clean now and trying to turn it's life around.

But I still prefer B.
posted by quin at 1:19 PM on June 18, 2008


I like how the current tag cloud has:

server sex shopping sleep

Litle things amuse me, I guess.
posted by pjern at 1:31 PM on June 18, 2008


A! A is fuckin' beautiful!
posted by grobstein at 1:33 PM on June 18, 2008


A.
posted by klarck at 1:53 PM on June 18, 2008


A.
The individual tags are far more readable and, thus, more easily scanned. The listings in B blur into long sentences and make it far harder to discern the individual tags.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:59 PM on June 18, 2008


A, you philistines.
posted by casarkos at 2:05 PM on June 18, 2008


A is so much more readable.
posted by dizziest at 2:08 PM on June 18, 2008


Also, the A-Team. How can you not love the A-Team?
posted by casarkos at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2008


A.
posted by tyllwin at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by matteo at 2:11 PM on June 18, 2008


Yeah, but honey comes from Bees and I would argue that honey is superior to A-Team reruns.

Again and at every turn, B is better.
posted by quin at 2:17 PM on June 18, 2008


A! Easier to read.
posted by iguanapolitico at 2:25 PM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by jaimev at 2:25 PM on June 18, 2008


A. Way more readable.
posted by thinman at 2:33 PM on June 18, 2008


A. B should work just as well, but it doesn't. Too little white er green space surrounding a cluster. With B, when you're looking at a tag, your eye is hit with yellow on all sides. With A, there's lots of room to breathe.
posted by Brainy at 2:42 PM on June 18, 2008


my god, what a long list of replies.

A looks better but B is shorter. they both have their advantages.
posted by krautland at 2:45 PM on June 18, 2008


So then it's decided.

A it is.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:14 PM on June 18, 2008


I've noticed that even though the votes are pretty evenly split, the A supporters are much more fervent.

A is MetaFilter's Defense of Marriage Act.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:52 PM on June 18, 2008


B, please.
posted by jaruwaan at 4:00 PM on June 18, 2008


A vote for A is a vote for, um, family.
posted by Pants! at 4:09 PM on June 18, 2008


a.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:15 PM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by IndigoRain at 4:59 PM on June 18, 2008


B. Looks better and is more functionally useful.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:01 PM on June 18, 2008


Of these two, definitely B. I do prefer the cloud, though, because it's more informative than either of these options.
posted by Godbert at 5:16 PM on June 18, 2008


I rather enjoy A.
posted by mewithoutyou at 5:49 PM on June 18, 2008


A
posted by procrastination at 6:06 PM on June 18, 2008


A is MetaFilter's Defense of Marriage Act.

eek. I hope that's not true. i'd have to change my vote to oppose it then.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:16 PM on June 18, 2008


Tagcloud, but if a regime change is inevitable, A.
posted by papafrita at 6:19 PM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by 3.2.3 at 6:29 PM on June 18, 2008


A

Both will involve scrolling as the tags fill up, so scrolling isn't an issue to me. However, I agree with pjern that it should be a user preference.
posted by webhund at 7:17 PM on June 18, 2008


1. Scrolling is NOT an issue as long as the display remains at "150 most popular tags".

2. I'm not updating the scorecard I did earlier, but it looks to my untrained eye that the response rate since then is about the same as the previous tally - that is, about 58% A, 42% B.
posted by yhbc at 7:50 PM on June 18, 2008


Tagclouds are passe.
A. A. A.
posted by dawson at 8:07 PM on June 18, 2008


B
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:21 PM on June 18, 2008


A is pleasent to the eye and seems like I'd use it more.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:11 PM on June 18, 2008


I like B please. Thank you.
posted by Lynsey at 9:15 PM on June 18, 2008


B means less scrolling, which is good. But A appeals more to my organizational/aesthetic sensibilities. I'd probably be happier with B.
posted by limeonaire at 9:16 PM on June 18, 2008


a!
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 10:37 PM on June 18, 2008


definitely B
posted by Manjusri at 11:02 PM on June 18, 2008


A looks nicer, but B works better (and gets my vote).
posted by unmake at 12:35 AM on June 19, 2008


Also, sorting by popularity / recentness trumps alphabetization for this sort of thing, IMO.
posted by unmake at 12:38 AM on June 19, 2008


A
But would be nice to have them set by preference
posted by mattoxic at 4:13 AM on June 19, 2008


B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B

A
not
so
much
posted by flabdablet at 4:23 AM on June 19, 2008


A
posted by penguin pie at 5:02 AM on June 19, 2008


B, no question. Resistance is futile.
posted by youhavetoreadthistwice at 7:23 AM on June 19, 2008


A
posted by spiderskull at 9:17 AM on June 19, 2008


AAAAAA+++ would visit again!
posted by Nelson at 12:10 PM on June 19, 2008


I think we've all learned something important here.

Never put a design feature to a popular vote.
posted by yhbc at 1:29 PM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


European Union officials agree with yhbc.
posted by ersatz at 4:04 PM on June 19, 2008


Never put a design feature to a popular vote.

Well, on MeFi, it's either that, or listen to this same argument in a user-created thread the day after launch.
posted by chrisamiller at 6:57 PM on June 19, 2008


I think the HTML of those pages is quite awful. Headings and lists, and no inline styles, please?
posted by joeclark at 8:31 PM on June 19, 2008


A is much more readable for me.
posted by brina at 8:39 PM on June 19, 2008


Never put a design feature to a popular vote.

I wouldn't worry. The voting is a sure sign we will never see either option, although mathowie might send himself an iPod.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:50 PM on June 19, 2008


B is the clear choice.

People that like A are obviously deranged.
posted by Argyle at 6:33 AM on June 20, 2008


I prefer A, but I'm concerned that it might not render well on a very small screen (e.g. cellphone).

Not that MeFi in general renders very well on a phone to begin with (I always end up with a column of single words, so the whole site reads
like
bad
free-
verse
poetry).
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:13 PM on June 20, 2008


A is a lot nicer to look at.
posted by snoogles at 2:34 PM on June 20, 2008


A
posted by lyam at 8:26 PM on June 21, 2008


I vote for C.
posted by not_on_display at 2:27 PM on June 23, 2008


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