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We are looking at a set of design patterns for helping classification of projects on a list – there seem to be some strong discussions around what the difference is between badges, labels and tags.

My thoughts are, badges (like notifications) are small, usually image-based identifiers, labels are non-interactive identifiers and tags are interactive combinations of the two previous options.

4

Badges are numerical indicators of how many items are associated with an element (a link) and labels are used to provide additional information about something. A tag is a word or a group of words temporarily attached to an item, a SEO tool.

See this explanation on Atlassian Design Guidelines:

Badges provide quick visual identification for numeric values such as tallies and other quantities. They are not used for anything other than integers. To call out tags or other high-visibility attributes, use Labels. Labels, like mentions and lozenges, are a way of visually tagging UI objects for quick recognition and navigation. They are used in taxonomies (tags) to provide an ad-hoc, user-generated scheme for classification and searching, or in multi-select controls to indicate already locked-in elements.

Labels can include an action icon (usually 'remove'). Bear in mind that they increase the amount of visual noise, particularly in combination with other visual tagging elements. They should be short and not require line-wrapping.

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There seem to be number of different names associated with this feature. In-order to classify them properly we have to take the functionality in consideration, there are generally 4 types:

  1. keywords used for associating data sets
  2. show additional information next to UI components
  3. numerical value counters
  4. UI element used as a call out for new component or feature.

So based on these functionalities the names used out there are:

  1. Tag, Chip, Breadbox, Token, navigation Pill
  2. Pill, Label, Bubble, Lozenges, Stamp
  3. Badge
  4. Ribbon, Corner triangle ribbon

Hope this helps.

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For retail e-commerce context here's my 2 cents

badges a static piece information that would be appealing to the user

  • new arrivals
  • free returns/exchange
  • cash on delivery
  • same day delivery

labels

  • care label
  • authenticity label e.g. 100% genuine leather

tags could be associated to price. usually dynamic

  • price tag
  • discount tag

then again these definitions might loosely be thrown around based on who uses them

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