You have many assets in your libraries. How will you 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 added to assets, which visitors can use to make their search more precise and granular.
Before using metadata and tags, please take a moment to learn how best to use them.
Metadata provides structure to the categorization of the assets in libraries. Metadata can be considered categories set up by library Owners and Editors.
These custom metadata are set up from the Power Bar gear settings under "Metadata" (find out more about how to add metadata). There are five metadata options: Text, Longtext, Select, Number, and Date. These options restrict the metadata fields to a limited number of 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 uploaded.
How to add custom metadata to make your images more searchable
Create new metadata custom fields in the Media Library backend
Add custom metadata to a picture
Add new the new custom metadata field to the faceted search
Use the new metadata as a search filter in the Media Library frontend
Tags are helpful to describe assets' minor attributes. They are short descriptions and words that people can either choose from the list of the existing tags or add to themselves. Some examples of tags are blue sky, attitude, beautiful, etc.
How to find your assets through tags
Tags overview in the backend
Tags overview in the frontend
Find frontend assets through tags
How to Choose: Tags vs. Metadata
For users of your Style Guide, tags and metadata work similarly to search for assets. However, the difference is more in the data and the structure.
Tags are entirely open-ended with no restrictions whatsoever. That means that if you only use tags and multiple people upload assets, people might be tagging in inconsistent ways. That might make finding the right asset more difficult.
Metadata guides people to categorize appropriately. Metadata has a clear format, like "date," and is 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 if you follow a clear metadata structure. 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 use 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. Still, metadata can be a powerful tool for maintaining structure in an extensive library.