When a user adds an object to his favorites I'd like to tell him where he can find the favorites list (unfortunately it's not that obvious and can't be changed at the moment). My idea is to show a dialog box when the users adds an object to the favorites for the first time (something like: "Added successfully! You can find you favorites here: Path/Link" and an OK button).

Question: Is it ok to show the dialog only the first time? Or should it be shown every time? Or should there be a checkbox with "don't show that message again"? Or any other, more elegant idea?

Context: It's a classified website, favorites can be added from result and detail page.

Please note: I know it'd be better to not have a dialog but there simply isn't any space to display the text on the page itself (you do see which objects are in your favorites though).

  • What about adding a timer to the dialog, say 3 or 4 seconds? The information is included, but the user can move on past the dialog (after it times out) without doing anything. – Joel Garfield Jun 28 '13 at 19:27

Could you use the faded yellow box (or some other technique) to highlight the favourites area (even if just briefly) once the user's choice has been successfully added?

I had a similar thing in an application I worked on, and the message about favorites becomes irritating very quickly. I think if you can give a quick, but not instrusive, indication that their task has been completed successfully and try to draw their eye towards where they should next focus, I think most people will figure it out quite quickly.

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  • Good idea, unfortunately the favorites are in a sub navigation (Personal area > Favorites) and not visible at that moment. I know it's not ideal but it can't be changed for now - but I'll keep it in mind for the planed restructuring, thanks! – Phil Jun 28 '11 at 18:54
  • OK. At the risk of being totally ridiculous, would this be of any use as a concept? webresourcesdepot.com/wp-content/uploads/file/jbasket/… - fly your newly chosen "Favourite" to the "Personal Area" link (even if nothing actually changes there) and draw the eye of the user. Just a thought... – Sam K Jun 29 '11 at 7:22
  • Not ridiculous at all, it's an option I am considering... thanks – Phil Jun 29 '11 at 7:31

We have all been to websites that have came up with 'very important' boxes with 'don't show me this again' buttons we instantly click through without bothering to read. It is par for the course, particularly if coming from a Windows PC where that is all you do for five minutes (booting the PC).

Therefore, I would consider putting together some concise yet engaging text that shows just the once per 'fortnight-long-session'. This should be written so as to let people know what to do with the favourites, positively selling the feature. Place the SE style [x] box in the top right so they can dismiss the pop=up so it is there if they want it.

You can put one of those now-outlawed cookies on their computer to see if they need the tip-box or not, set it to a fortnight or so, then they won't get bugged during an active session, but, should they come back a while after their initial visit there will be your 'sell-the feature-in-an-instructional-way' box.

Obviously you will need to shoulder surf others using the site to make sure it works out for them.

Theoretically you could time how long the pop-up box is there, take a guess as to whether people have read it or not and put some logic to how the reminder works. You do know if they have used the favourites feature or not, therefore you can optimise what you put in front of people's eyeballs - stuff they need to know or more ads.

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OK - this sounds a bit of a restrictive environment so I'd suggest showing the dialog, with the 'don't show this again' checkbox, which puts the user back in control, but perhaps also indicate to the user that they can access favourites with Ctrl+F - which is going to be much easier to remember than giving them a path/route.

Don't know if this is a web/desktop/phone app, so maybe accelerators like Ctrl+F do not fit your context...

You could try making more of a deal out of adding favourites, so that the dialog becomes a feature rather than a notification, but just as quick to dismiss.

Eg: Like Chrome:

enter image description here

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  • Sorry, forgot to mention: It's a website, so no shortcuts. I added it to the question, thanks for the hint. The path would be pretty simple (i.e. "Personal Area -> Favorites"). – Phil Jun 28 '11 at 14:54

I'd probably just go for the "Don't show me this dialog again" link. For concision, however, I would write it as "Don't tell me again". I'd probably include a 'Stop giving me help tips' function, too.

But more importantly, if the user needs the text, maybe favourites need to be easier to find? As this is a website, your users will be familiar with the idea of browser favourites - maybe you could exploit some similar conventions to make favourites intuitive?

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  • Easier to find: Absolutely, but I can't touch the structure at the moment. Why do you prefer the "Don't tell me again" option? Is there a bigger chance that the user will read the message? Or will he just click it away anyway? (I know I would...) – Phil Jun 28 '11 at 18:57

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