I have a list of insurance quotes that are being displayed in a table. The users will be able to select which quotes are more important by clicking on a "star, flag, etc" which will allow them to filter out only those important quotes in a separate tab.

My question is, what's the best wording/concept to represent which quotes are more important? Plus, an icon to go along with it.

Some ideas from the office include:

1) Stars (Gmail)

2) Flag (Outlook)

3) Bookmark

4) Follow (Twitter)

5) Watch

6) Favorite

For me, the words "Follow & Watch" implies that the user will receive update/notifications about the quote itself, which is not the case.

Basically, marking a quote as "important" will simply just allow it to be filtered. Similar to a tagging system.

I'm leaning towards using "star", but out of context from an email app, it sounds a bit strange to me.

Any suggestions?

  • what makes a quote "important"? to what use will that filtered list be put?
    – Sparr
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 19:29
  • Essentially it allows brokers to separate specific quotes that they are keeping an eye on for various reasons (Waiting for approval, to archive and remember later, etc). It's very similar to the concept of starring something in an email app. Just not sure if the same wording applies here because "starring" something seems a bit abstract to me for this type of user. The filter is basically a quick way to sort through potentially hundreds of quotes down to a dozen or so that they are waiting on.
    – Chris N.
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 19:35
  • Starring is implying a preference for an item. Flagging in Outlook is used to indicate that you yourself need to take some action on an itme. If the intent here is "just" to mark the quotes that you want to keep an eye on, then "watch" or "follow" seem the most appropriate. Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 10:35
  • "Prioritise" ??
    – PhillipW
    Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 14:23

8 Answers 8


You might try "Mark" or "Highlight", either of which should be visible both on the new filtered tab or on the old list as some sort of highlighting.


I would use the wording closest to what you actually mean: "Mark as important"

I don't see any specific reason you need a one-word verb, especially when you can already tell that limiting yourself to that will probably result in less clarity.

...and of course what symbol to use, if any, is another issue. I say "if any" because you could simply use the text "important" rather than a symbol and again reduce ambiguity.


Another possible analog is "pin". This is the word Kayak uses to prioritize flight search results. The "pinned" flights show up in a special section at the top of the list, each with an indicator in the corner:

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  • It's an interesting idea, but in the development world, pinning normally means to stick something or keep in place. Not necessarily just to mark as important. Visual Studio for example allows you to pin certain windows and interfaces to keep them open. I think highlight makes the most sense from all the suggestions. Thanks!
    – Chris N.
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 22:25

Understand why one quote is more important than another for your user. Say - urgency, profitability, etc. Find corresponding noun which associated with it, say - clock, money sign, etc. Then use this noun's icon as a mark.


I like "watch" in this case.

That's the verb used in some code debuggers if there are variables that you are particularly interested in and "want to keep an eye on". Seems to be a similar case here.

  • "Watch" and "follow" imply that the item changes. If the quote is static, this doesn't make sense.
    – quietmint
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 4:28

You could also use the "filter" icon, an "eye", or simply a checkbox. No matter which icon you use, make sure the end-user knows what it's for.

  • Carry the icon over to the filtered list
  • If possible, have a tool tip or indicator of what that icon is for before committing the filter
  • If possible, include on-screen instruction to how to filter

I believe using a star to convey importance to a user is far more impactful than using anything other icon. The reason for this is because this pattern has already been defined in applications such as Gmail and Apple Mail for marking items in a list important.


I think Outlook actually uses exclamation mark for something important or a high priority message, whilst the flag is more like Gmails labels. In some apps I've seen, colour coding is used with alternate (mouseover) text.

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