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I have a list of posts that are sortable by type/category. The default is 'all'. Other types are 'messages', 'files', etc. When a user clicks on the tab, these posts are refreshed via ajax to their corresponding tab contents. I need to have a filter functionality as well. Current filters are 'filter by topic' and 'filter by profile'. The question is: Does it make sense to have the filters in the same tabbed nav as the main category tabs? enter image description here

After reading the suggestions, I think I am going to move the filters to below the tabs. This should solve the current UX issue and also allow a greater amount of tabs. Also, it will allow other sorting or navigation elements on the same level as the filters. enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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The filter is modifying the results, but they are not a navigation mechanism by themselves, so they should not be on the same level.

I would place the filter options inside the results area, , may be on top right or left, that depends on your design, top left is common in many interfaces, but as long as you assign a title to the space of the filters, every body should understand what they do.

Other option would be to have the separate from the content area, for instance to the right, as obelia mentions. If you do that, then you should also draw a specific area around them and assign a title and a short description of what they do so every boy understand that they are related to the content and that they will affect it.

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Faux tabs (in this case the filter selectors) are confusing. The filter selectors should be moved off into their own area (to the right maybe) and not look like tabs. Also, it would be nice if the filter state was displayed, e.g. "filters: topic=xxxx and profile=John" or "filters: topic=any and profile=any". I think it's important to clearly indicate how the filters are combined, intersection (in which case "and" or "&" would be displayed) or union (in which case "or" would be displayed) - union ("or") doesn't make much sense I think because that would make selecting only one filter do nothing.

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