Problem I am working on an education application and have set up a filtering system. For my last set of filters on mobile ( the first 2 are broken out and user tested well for importance ), I am grouping together all of the last filters. Within this group is a list of over 80+ institutions. I am having problems with how this should be displayed.

Research I did a lot of research and checked out Kayak ( for airlines ) and Rent the Runway desktop ( attached photos ). Neither of these solutions quite work.

Kayak example Rent the Runway example

Current attempt I also attempted to do a mixture of highlighting featured institutions and then having a search box on top of a multi select box, which I still don't think is a good fit here.

Current attempt

Any ideas or examples I should check out that are ideal for mobile?

  • 1
    Is it important to present the institutions by name in this step, or is there another filter that can narrow the results further? Like "Western region" or "Schools with over 25,000 students", etc? If this is the final possible list of choices, I'd second the recommendation to do an auto-complete with suggested terms.
    – Izquierdo
    Dec 21, 2017 at 21:27
  • Thanks for the comment! The business requirement is around indicating that there are 80+ partners - not an ideal place for a designer.
    – LMo
    Dec 22, 2017 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


A long list of checkboxes places the burden on the user to have prior knowledge of all the options AND be able to recall it relatively easily. Such a list is meaningless without additional context & knowledge about how/why they will make their choice, and their familiarity/focus on the available options.

It also means you could probably still filter out quite a few options based on other criteria. You're expecting them to tell you what they need, but what if they don't know?

I couldn't name 80 clothing designers if you put a gun to my head, so selecting from an alphabetical list of them would be pointless.

I don't really care which airline flies those 190+ flights - I want the cheapest fare between desired locations for my chosen dates. I only narrow carriers after narrowing my options to the 5 or so correct itineraries I can afford.

Or consider the frustrating directory on a health insurance website showing their "approved" doctors - if there are no reviews & few details, and I know nothing about them but their name & address, it's impossible to make an informed decision - I just pick the closest one & hope for the best. Not a great process.

So, even if I have encyclopedic knowledge of those 80 affiliated institutions you intend to list, what's the goal I'm trying to accomplish? Do all 80 really apply to every user, or could you further refine and narrow their options based on prior answers? Location, budget, employer, goals, etc?

An auto-completing type-ahead search filter could be an option to reduce the list & save space, even if it only matches names. Type in a letter & the list is reduced to only the relevant results.

Better yet, dynamically filter that list to now tell THEM what their remaining options are at that point. Include things in "search" besides the institution name. Let them search & then filter results by (for example) distance, zip code, online vs on-campus, or a specific state/city, which they probably already told you earlier(...?)

Use information from questions they've already answered to filter the list of 80 down to a list of 5-10 viable options that meet all their criteria. Don't show a list of 80 if 70 of them are irrelevant. As you can see from your mockup, you're showing "University of Denver" and "George Washington" even though there are "0" relevant whatevers (possible programs?). You're already down to 78 options! What others can you eliminate by adding more pre-emptive filtering?

Use other info, or ask more questions, to filter down to where you can say: "These are your 2 choices in Chicago for your employer MegaCorp Inc" or "These are the 10 schools within 50 miles of you that offer a night-time, on-campus Executive MBA program."

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