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Consider a social-interface like Facebook and Twitter. Users can share posts/notes that are displayed in feed. In a note/post, you can add text as well as images & files. Now if a user likes that post, it's simple to display the post like in feed(it's a Facebook-style newsfeed). But what if the user likes an image/file in that post, what is the best way to displaying the like on that image/file like in feed while differentiating it from the post like.

I checked this on Facebook, and Facebook doesn't display image likes in feed. The likes on an image are only visible when you open the image to view it.

  • What is the purpose of the site, what are you trying to achieve, etc.? There's no way to answer this question without some more detail. – user31143 Jun 2 '16 at 12:53
  • Consider it being a social networking site like Facebook. Added description in my question. – Komal Waseem Jun 2 '16 at 13:03
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The "like" hierarchy could be reconsidered to avoid some conflicts (for example: if the user "likes" the post does that imply "liking" the picture?). These are two suggestions:

  • Treat all "likable" elements as siblings, in the same level. If images are more important than posts maybe what could be liked are parts of the content rather than whole posts.
  • Give a different "like" action to parents and children elements. Instead of having the same "like" for both consider a different type to avoid the confusion.

matryoska

Picture credits: By BrokenSphere - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3773186

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Overlay the like count on the item

If everything's got a count, even if it's zero, it's clear that the number relates to the specific item.

You could also add a thin footer to each image and have metadata, e.g. likes, in there.

An important point here is that UI design is about trying to subtract from the interface, not add to it, so you should have a strong justification for squeezing in another design element.

Also, in the Facebook universe, nothing happens by accident. It's unlikely that there are no likes on individual items because no one thought about it. More likely it's been tested extensively and it doesn't work well for some reason.

mockup

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