“Like” vs Bookmarks vs Favorites

Added on February 13, 2017 - Category: UX

In the connected world of the Web, where information is endless and the organization systems of such information are even more unattainable (technically they are infinite), one of the most common processes is a kind of micro-organization of information: the saving or preservation of it.

This process can be done in different ways, but basically it always consists of the same thing: to preserve a microparticle of information that we like, or interest, or that we will have to use in an indeterminate period of time.

For this process, there are different flows or mechanisms, the most common being social validationbookmarks and favorites .

Social Validation

Social validation is how we share information, or an opinion. Examples of this would be those used by social networks, such as the famous “Like” of Facebook (now replaced by reactions ), G+ buttons, thumbs up / down on many commenting systems, eCommerce site reviewsgamification systems, etc.

Through social validation, we share bits or lots of information with our social contact networks, and these bits can be presented as original, secondary or suggestive / proactive .

The main characteristic, against other types of information, is that social validation is always public and shared, and “saving” occurs in environments external to the user. In addition, this type of saving is of high volatility, and usually the user tends to forget it soon. However, it does not cease to exist (which is a source of many problems): the information that the user saved and no longer remembers, is available to others.

Original Validation

In this case the information comes from the author for a specific medium. For example, a person who adds a photo on Facebook is creating a bit of original validation (I add this photo because I like, I’ve founded interesting or simply wanted to share it with my environment) . In the same way, if this information comes from another place, but the user shares it for a new environment, that information will be native to this environment (for example: if the user shares a note that he saw in a newspaper).

The important thing in this type of validation is that the user PROPOSES the object to be validated

Secondary validation

Let’s go back to the previous example: the user adds a photo or a new post to Facebook, and his circle of contacts expresses their opinion through the system of reactions of said platform. In this case, these users express a secondary validation . That is, they express minimum bits of secondary information (reactions, votes, etc.) on an original information.

Suggestive or proactive validation

In this case, the validation is not a proposal or a secondary opinion, but an opinion that encourages other users to take action. It is the typical case of reviews, where the user communicates his opinion in his own words, or generates a quantitative assessment (voting systems or rankings). In both cases, the explicit or implicit message is:

I-user think that X is [opinion or rating] and other users should follow my advice.


Image by Vargazs

Bookmarks are the bits of information that we keep with the intention of re-visiting in an indefinite period of time, which may be near or far. Usually, the markers are forgotten when new ones are added, so this saved information serves as a reference to be used at some time and implies interest of the user, but the degree of interest is usually not very important, but it’s saved “just in case “.

For the mentioned reasons, this information is accessed very sporadically, and in many cases only once. It’s content is usually static.

There is a special form of bookmark: offline reading. In this case, the process is the same as the bookmark, only that the information will be accessed at a more or less close time and generally only once. In this case, the user does not save a link to an external hypertext, but saves the content on his own computer.


My Favorites page in Safari

In this case, the information is saved like markers, but with the clear intention of using it in a short period of time, and repeatedly. Favorites are quick access routes to information that usually has very high degrees of volatility (online newspapers, social platforms, eCommerce sites), or they represent a need for the user’s daily activity (financial platforms, tax payments, sites of learning, etc.).

In summary: What is the difference between these 3 variants?

The difference between these 3 variants is that in social validation , the information is public, shared and volatile. In the case of the Markers , the information is kept private, and it is usually static and has sporadic access. Finally, the favorites are stored privately but the information is usually volatile and frequently accessed.

Source: UXpañol