I have a filter and sort feature on a particular website, and the current layout is as follows:
Of course, I want to reduce elements to as few as possible, so my question is should a layout like this replace the 'Filter' and 'Sort' buttons with the 'Filter by' and 'Sort by' titles, styling them like buttons? My concern is that users will not know that they are clickable. Users for this application range anywhere from highly-technical, extremely well-versed users to very low-tech users.
This page filters and sorts several hundred items (currently 497) by the various fields provided, and displays changes live as you type/change values, which means the buttons should almost never need to be clicked.
The alternative layout I'm considering is:
Assuming the 'live' changes don't work, and users are forced to click the 'Filter' or 'Sort' actions, would this confuse them? Am I better off with the current layout.
The idea is to reduce clutter when on smaller browsers, as the filter and sort bars simply shrink to fill available space. Less buttons/sections means more visibility on the parts that are available.