So I have a list which is a mix of "wishlist" locations that a user wants to visit and "favorite" locations that a user has visited and liked. (physical locations e.g. restaurants, coffee shops, bars) Each list item is the name of the place on one line and the city below like this:

    Bathtub Gin & Co.
    Seattle, WA

what is the most intuitive way to visually distinguish "wishlist" places from "favorite" places (without splitting them into two lists)?

Some things that come to mind but dont jump out at me:

  • different icons (star icon + some other icon)
  • slightly different color (background/text color, maybe playing on the blue/purple scheme for hyperlinks)
  • including a visited date if the place is a "favorite", otherwise not including a date like in the listing like so:

     Red Medicine
     Los Angeles, CA
     Bathtub Gin & Co.
     Seattle, WA (visited: September 2012)

What do you guys think?

closed as not constructive by Benny Skogberg, dhmstark, ChrisF, Ben Brocka Oct 18 '12 at 20:53

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  • 3
    Why do they have to be in the same space? Is it feasible to separate the items into different views? What are users reading the list for and what will they do with the information? – Jimmy Breck-McKye Sep 23 '12 at 23:11
  • The list is a way to keep track of places that a user wants to visit, regardless of whether the user has already visited them. Just thinking that it would be nice to also keep track of whether/when the user has already been there. – dylan Sep 23 '12 at 23:26
  • Some mockups would help your question. Show us the designs you're considering – Sauce McBoss Sep 24 '12 at 19:16
  • Also, you could be more specific with your question. Perhaps just ask: What's a good way to do this? – Sauce McBoss Sep 24 '12 at 19:17
  • @LorenRogers OK, I think I'll try and reformulate my question to be more specific and provide some mockups. – dylan Sep 24 '12 at 19:38

At first glance, this question and its’ intention, look kind of odd. Favorite locations are locations you frequently visit and like to come back to. A favorite location is very different from a wish location which you have never visited – but been inspired to visit in some way. It could be from friends who recommends the place, a simple web search, advertisement or something else, but still very different from a favorite (or frequently visited) location.

There are techniques to use to distinguish different categories in a list by using different background colors, different text colors, different font styles or different font weight. The hard part is to decide which one category you want to emphasize: favorite or wishes? Favorite locations, especially often visited favorite locations probably doesn’t need to be highlighted as much as new locations? Or do you want to make visited favorites to stand out?

Pins on iPhone map

One other option to use, would be to disregard the list altogether, and use what is more appropriate to view locations, such as a map. On the map you could have different colored pins for different categories. You can use green pins for favorites and blue for wishes, or the color you see fit in your application. One upside would be to see favorites and wishes related to your current location on the map. The user would then have the more visible way to explore new locations, instead of using the favorites (where your habits often take you). I would consider this option.

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