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Find with Tags

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A user wants to find a specific object (photo, bookmark, book, article, etc). through searching or browsing.


flickr Search box with Tags selected
flickr Search box with Tags selected permits people to search all images with the same tags (e.g characteristics such as cats, rainbows, green)

Use When

Use when there is a large collection of objects to sort through or manipulate.


  • Allow a keyword search through the tag database.
  • Allow the user to browse through a list of tags.
  • Once an object is found, display all the associated tags and allow the user to pivot off one of these other tags to create another search based on the new tag as keyword.
  • Allow combinations of words to be searched together.
  • Allow tag search to be done through the same search interface as the rest of the site. uses a single text box and then on the results page, allows the user to constraint the search by tags.


Objects that have tags associated with them should be able to be found through a search and browse mechanism using the associated tags. Tags should be just another item of metadata that can be searched.


For large collections of assets, mechanisms for searching to find a specific object should be part of the findability philosophy of the site. Searching through tags and using tags as a finding aid allows users to use their own words and their mental models of the item for later retrieval.

Related Patterns

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