Assume People do Simple Stuff Right–How Bookmark Work on Different Browsers

Every browser has bookmark/favourite function, but different browsers implement the workflow differently. Let’s look at them one by one.

IE 9

At IE9, user needs do the following steps.

1.  Click the star icon at the right side corner. Then a window pops up as below.


2. Users need to select the Favorites tab if it’s not the current tab, then click the “Add to favorites” button.

3. I thought that’s done. NO! A new window pops out.


4. Select folder, or new new folder (another window pops out).

5. Finally, click Add to add the page to favourite.

Firefox 4

1. Click the right side star icon at the Location bar. Guess what? That’s all. (The “Bookmark this page” is a tip popped out when I place my mouse over the start icon.)


One can find the bookmark as shown in the figure below,


2. Of course, some people are more organized and they want to put bookmarks into different folders. Simple, just click the star icon again. Then you’ll see this,


The interface is quite intuitive and somehow similar across all browsers. Compared with IE9, it also allows you to remove the bookmark previously added.

Safari 5.1

1. Click the left side “+” icon of the Location bar, you’ll see window below,


2. Well, my first impression was “where is the new folder option?”.

2.1 Never mind, just click “Add”.

3. Later on, I figured out right click the empty space of the Location bar and we’ll be able to create a new folder.

Opera 11.50

0. Look around, but I cannot find any icon for bookmarks.

1. Click the upper left corner, then I find the place,


2. Click “Bookmark Page”, the familiar dialog pops out,


3. Well, we all know what to do next.

Chrome 12.0

1. Similar to firefox, it has a star icon at the right side of the Location bar, again the “Bookmark this page” is the tooltip text when I placed my mouse over the star icon.


Click the icon, you’ll see this,


2. Click Done, then done. If I want to remove the bookmark, click Remove. If I want to be more organized, click Edit. Then another window is shown,


Ok. This is also similar to all other browsers, except Chrome shows more bookmark folders than all other browsers. (All other browsers use a dropdown list.)

My Personal Preference and Why

This is purely subjective. But I will give my preference order as Chrome > Firefox > IE 9 = Opera > Safari, in terms of the bookmark function. Why?

Both Chrome and Firefox assume users will do the right thing, in other words, they think people click  the star icon because he/she actually wants to bookmark a page. So once users click the star icon, they add the bookmark.

Besides, they offer obvious and easy to use interface for users to further organize the bookmarks. (both requires two clicks. For firefox, it’s two clicks of the star icon; for Chrome, it’s one click of the star icon, one click of the Edit button.) Users also have the option to quickly remove the bookmark if he/she changes his/her mind or finishes the reading of the page.

Why Chrome is sightly better than Firefox in my preference? The “Edit Bookmark” window. I like it a lot more than all the other browsers offer. It’s much easier to choose a folder or organize folder structure.

IE9, Opera and Safari takes another approach. They tried to guide users through some process. First this, then that, do you confirm? Yes, then the action is taken.

Come on, I know what I’m doing, I simply want to save a page to read it later. Why so many steps? And Safari, please let me create new folder when I add a bookmark so I can be organized if I want to.

So lesson learned: assume your users are smart and execute their instructions as quick as possible, and always give them the choice to refine the instructions and rollback.