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Which is the general practice to display a "Favorites" button in mobile apps? Should I should use a row in a list of options or a button in a fixed bar that is always displayed throughout the app?

Does it matter if a "Favorites" section is not going to be an important part of the app, and therefore it's just an add-on?

Which is the best approach to display "Favorites" in a mobile app?

  • It depends entirely on the app, the content, the users, etc. There's no generic 'best' way to do this. – DA01 Jun 26 '15 at 17:15
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    @CeceXX looks like we're following each other around the SE ecosystem! – plainclothes Jun 26 '15 at 17:17
  • @plainclothes Yes, this is great :-) – Cesare Jun 26 '15 at 17:27
  • @CeceXX I've put this on hold, as you are more asking "How should my app do it" than a general UX question. If you rephrase your question to be clearer and more generic, you can ask for it to be re-evaluated. – JohnGB Jun 26 '15 at 18:12
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    @JohnGB this seems pretty broadly applicable to me. It's very much a question of OS conventions and user expectations, not "my app" implementation. – plainclothes Jun 26 '15 at 19:02
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Validate hierarchy

You say it's not an important part of the app, but are you sure? If your app has many potential views and users are going to spend a lot of time with it, a Favorites feature can gain a lot of traction.

Follow expectations

Once you're certain about feature hierarchy, it's good to stick with the OS's conventions. The main nav bar (along the bottom for iOS, top for Android) is for primary views. Anything that isn't going to be frequently accessed should not live there.

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Since the inbox is going to be of variable length I would recommend putting the favorites feature in a fixed location. If I were to mark my favorites then not check my inbox for a while it could be buried hundreds of emails deep. In my yahoomail I have over 19k emails, that would take ages to get to my favorites at the end of the inbox (I know this is an outlier type scenario but could still happen).

If those 4 features are going to be the only ones on the nav bar then I think it fits in perfectly right there, it does not appear crowded and is easy to access.

  • But, by definition, "outlier" scenarios do not belong in the nav bar. – plainclothes Jun 26 '15 at 17:34
  • 19k emails being the outlier, having over ~10 emails in the box (enough to push favorites off screen) will be pretty much always. – DasBeasto Jun 26 '15 at 17:35
  • These are just inboxes, not actual message, right? Will the avg user have more than 10 inboxes? For the record, I do think Faves is a primary nav point, but OP said it's not. – plainclothes Jun 26 '15 at 18:00
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    I assumed these were the actual messages, since the header is labeled Inbox and there are both sent and received. If these are indeed inboxes then that does make a difference and I would agree that it may make more sense to put the favorites in there as there probably wont be too many inboxes, especially if rearrangeable so users could lock favorites near the top. – DasBeasto Jun 26 '15 at 18:09
  • ^ "lock near top" is the key if this is truly a lower hierarchy element. – plainclothes Jun 26 '15 at 18:32

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