I have an iPhone app that consists of events. Users can both favourite an event, and add an alarm to an event.

Currently the favourite button works by using a checkmark accessory, whilst the alarm uses a switch accessory:

Checkmark accessory for favourite, and switch for alarm

However, something in the back of my mind says that favourite should also use a switch.


  • It is more consistent to use the same control for a binary behaviour
  • It is more discoverable - favourite is off by default and so it just looks like a normal cell


  • ON/OFF doesn't map well to "Favourite".

Should I change it so that both use a switch control, or should I stick with the checkmark accessory?

Update I have decided to use a star instead of the default checkmark. This allows me to have a good unselected image, making it more obvious to the user that they can interact with the cell.

Hollow start for unselected Filled in star for selected

  • I like the start idea instead of the checkmark, I was just thinking of recommending it to you before I read your update at the end. Great job!
    – jpierson
    Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


You need work out what importance to give your favourite control. Is it as important as the alarm switch? Usually favourite controls are given less importance as they are not as important as the main content. If this is the case with your application you may want to consider moving the favourite control away from the alarm and knocking it back slightly.

I am not a fan of "ON/OFF" but it is hard to describe why I don't, I guess it is hard for my brain to associate it with the act of adding something to my favourites. Gran Turismo 5 uses an ON/OFF to add cars to the favourite menu and it nearly made me sick the first time I used it.

Google Chrome contains an excellent example of a favourite control. It is out of the way of the main interaction so it does not distract. Personally I also like the star.

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  • Yah, I've come to the conclusion that if I replace the default checkmark with a star instead, I can use the outline of a star to represent no favourite, but also give a hint that something can be done.
    – ICR
    Commented Feb 10, 2011 at 16:53

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