In a mobile app I'm developing, I'm showing a list of results where each item can be clicked on to view more details.

For each item in the list I'd like to indicate to the user that they've already viewed details about that item.

To show this, I was thinking to grey out the row slightly, but not sure if some kind of icon is preferable. What's the best way to indicate this to the user?

  • 2
    I think you're onto the right tack here, for two reasons: a)you alerting the user to the fact the object is now in a different state to others because it has been viewed b)you are using established conventions to indicate a less-active state
    – colmcq
    Mar 22, 2012 at 19:38

3 Answers 3


One common way of doing this is through bolding unviewed items. This has been a standard for email clients for a long time. Example from gmail (note there are other visual differences too, not just font-weight).

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Take inspiration from another common browsing application with an established pattern: the web browser, in which visited links are shown in a different color. Because web browsers are pervasive and (so far as I know) every graphical browser does it this way, your users will recognize the pattern in your app without having to learn what a new icon means.


Any visual difference will work just fine. E.g. Bold/Normal or greyed out vs black. There's definitely no standard icon for this.

As an addition you could inform the user when it was viewed last (only if it adds value to your app). E.g last viewed 12 minutes ago or last viewed Sep 12, 2012 just make sure to use a human language :)

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