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I am designing a filter/faceted search for an automotive website.

Products are few but fitlers are many... I need to keep em, but I'd like to find out a smart solution in order to avoid a long right column with all the filters. I would like users not to scroll down while visualizing filtered results.

I thought about having a horizontal menu for filters but I need to expand them vertically anyway...

Suggestions for easy filtering methods?

Thanks!

enter image description here

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Are all the filter options visible to begin with or do they appear based on what the user selects? Could you give some examples of the types of filter options? –  Matt Obee Jun 17 '13 at 10:47
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Why not group the filters into logical types and then provide those groups in expandable areas, that way the user can decide what types of things their interested in and then only pick the filters related to that criteria?

This means the user can ignore the other filters so you can hide those away behind expandable panels.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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Good solution! To know which filters were selected in folded groups it could be convient to point them under the headers of folded groups. –  Alexey Kolchenko Jun 17 '13 at 11:35
    
As stated above - it can be troublesome to hide active filters since the user will have a hard time knowing wich ones are active. If there's no space to write the entire filter name on the collapsed header - add a place where the number of active filters can be written (e.g. one header could look like: Engine (4)). A convenience here could be that clicking the (4) it turns into a "Clear" button that resets that tabs filters. –  Henrik Ekblom Jun 18 '13 at 13:59
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You could arange filters in two columns, ordering by importance from top to down. Also filters could be context-dependent, i.e. tied to previous filters. So some unapplicable filters could be hidden.

Are all filters have meaning to customers? Examples would be great.

UPDATE

Sorry for a little plagiarism but this is good pattern you can explore in Ebay site while searching some item (only fragment is on the picture):
filter options

So, bring to user only frequently using filter options (simplify) but let user be powerful to choose advansed options (control).

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They are already dynamic and arranged into two levels... I am attaching some wireframes... –  Giults Jun 17 '13 at 12:14
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