“Like” vs Bookmarks vs Favorites

Last Modified: Jan 4th, 2021 - Category: Blog Articles About UX, UI, Research and Development, UX, UX Theory
“Like” vs Bookmarks vs Favorites
Like vs Bookmarks vs Favorites

In the connected world of the Web, where the 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 information microorganization: storage or preservation of such information

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 that interests us, 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 validation, bookmarks and favorites.

Social Validation

Like vs Bookmarks vs 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 Facebook’s famous “Like” (now replaced by reactions), thumbs up / down on many commenting systems, reviews of e-commerce sites, gamificationsystems, etc.

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

The main feature, compared to other types of information, is that social validation is always public and shared, and “saving” occurs in environments outside the user. In addition, this type of savings is high volatility, and generally 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 an original validation bit (“I add this photo because I like it, I found something interesting or just wanted to share it with my environment”).

Similarly, 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 they saw in a newspaper). This is basically the mechanism that drives influencer based marketing campaigns-

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 his 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.) in an original information.

Suggested 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 evaluation (voting systems or classifications).

In both cases, the explicit or implicit message is:

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


Like vs Bookmarks vs Favorites: Bookmarks
Image by Vargazs

Bookmarks are the pieces of information that we keep with the intention of revisiting them in an indefinite period of time, which may be near or far.

Usually, bookmarks are forgotten when new ones are added, so this saved information serves as a reference to use at some time and implies user interest.

But the degree of interest is usually not very important; on the contrary, most bookmarks are preserved “just in case”.

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

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


Like vs Bookmarks vs Favorites: Favorites
My Favorites page in Safari

In this case, the information is saved like bookmarks, 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, e-learning sites, etc.).

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

The difference between these 3 variants is:

  • in social validation , the information is public, shared and volatile.
  • In the case of the Bookmarks , the information is kept private, it is usually static and has sporadic access.
  • Finally, favorites are stored privately but the information is usually volatile and frequently accessed.

Disclaimer: This content was translated to English from the original we wrote in Spanish, available in UXpañol

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