A tag cloud (word cloud, or weighted list in visual design) is a novelty visual representation of text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. Tags are usually single words, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color. This format is useful for quickly perceiving the most prominent terms and for locating a term alphabetically to determine its relative prominence. When used as website navigation aids, the terms are hyperlinked to items associated with the tag.
- Information visualization that organizes text-based content into interesting arrangements
- Text collages that show the most frequently used words in just about any text-based document.
- Words are assigned different font sizes; usually, the bigger the word, the more frequently it occurs.
- Clouds are made engaging through various dimensions such as typeface, font size, colors, and number of words, word proximity, and word orientation.
- Qualify where word cloud data came from, collection methods, what the fonts, colors, sizes, etc. mean, and disclosure of any data scrubbing or segmenting.
- When archiving transcripts, the visual markers of each cloud create a gestalt unique to each transcript that can facilitate recall.
- Word clouds can be a lighthearted way to engage stakeholders in discussion about the gist of transcripts before delving into more rigorous analysis techniques.