You have many assets in your libraries. How are you going to help visitors to your Style Guide find the asset(s) they need? This is where metadata and tags are helpful.
Both metadata and tags categorize assets by attributes so users can find the right asset for the job. Metadata and tags are words or short descriptions that are added to assets, which can then be searched by visitors.
Before you begin to use metadata and tags, take a moment to learn how best to use them.
Start with metadata.
Metadata provides structure to the categorization of the assets in libraries. Metadata can be thought of as categories set up by Owners and Editors of the library.
These custom metadata are set up from the Power Bar gear settings under “Metadata” (find out more about how to add metadata). There are 5 types of metadata options: Text, Longtext, Select, Number, and Date. These options allow metadata to be restricted to certain options. "Select" creates a list of checkboxes of options, for example.
Metadata can have a default value that will be added to all assets when they are uploaded.
Tags are helpful to describe more minor attributes of assets. They are short descriptions and words that people choose from the existing tags list and can add to themselves as well. Some examples of tags are: blue sky, attitude, beautiful, etc.
How to Choose: Tags vs. Metadata
For users of your Style Guide, tags and metadata work very similarly to search for assets. However, the difference is more in the data and the structure.
Tags are completely open-ended with no restrictions whatsoever. This means that, if you only use tags and multiple people are uploading assets, people might be tagging in inconsistent ways. This might make finding the right asset more difficult.
Metadata guides people to categorize appropriately. Metadata have a clear format, like “date”, and are often used to structure the library, similar to how “genre” structures your music library. Here is an example of a metadata structure vs. tags:
The two work best together when a clear metadata structure has been set up. Then users can add tags to help people narrow in on an asset within a metadata “category.” For example, some customers may want to use metadata for “department” or “product line”, and tags more for the description of the asset such as “red” or “people”.
You can help viewers of your Style Guide make use of metadata and tags by using faceted search. For more on that, refer to the Faceted Search article.
If your collection of assets is small or you do not see a clear need for metadata for whatever reason, feel free to use only tags but metadata can be a powerful tool to maintain structure in a large library.