Size Judgment and Comparison in Tag Clouds

Tag clouds can be used for a variety of purposes, like providing a high-level understanding of a document. It is still unclear how users perceive the size of the words in tag clouds and how they make their judgments of the size of words. In this poster, we look at how users estimate the relative sizes of words given different characteristics. We studied the influence of decorations like filled areas, boxes, and shadows to determine whether they would influence the perceived size. Another parameter we tested was the appearance of words (i.e. by choosing words with and without ascenders and descen- ders). We found significant effects from all of those parameters, which suggests that designers of tag clouds need to be aware of the influence of design choices on the perceived data.
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Khaldoon (Kal) Dhou, Robert Kosara, Mirsad Hadzikadic, Mark Faust,
Size Judgment and Comparison in Tag Clouds,
IEEE Information Visualization Posters, 2013.
See also: demo video