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Let's imagine that I have a list of documents that each are associated with an employee. I want to be able to filter by employee, so that I only see the documents associated with that person.

Each employee is either located in North America or Europe.

I would like to be able to be able to:

  • Select from a list of all employees
  • Select from a list of only the employees located in North America
  • Select from a list of only the employees located in Europe

We have come up with two possible solutions for this problem:

  1. Use radios to enable a select with the list of employees. This seems fairly clear (?), but is taking up a lot of screen space.

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  1. Have a single select whose options are updated depending on the selected radio option:

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Which is the better solution? Why? Are there alternatives that would be more user friendly?

  • How many employees are likely to be there. Incase it's a large number or a number that will eventually grow, maybe a search or combo box would be a better solution. – TDsouza Apr 9 '18 at 15:55
  • If that's not a concern, then, in the current context the second one makes more sense as it does not repeat the drop down unnecessarily – TDsouza Apr 9 '18 at 15:56
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Your second suggestion seems preferable, but could be improved by

  • Reducing the text from the radio button labels (while it may seem to add clarity, it is probably redundant)

  • Aligning the radio buttons horizontally (vertical alignment is sometimes cited as best practices, to avoid confusion, but horizontal alignment for three radio buttons should be fine if you space them out)

  • Adding an 'auto-suggest' to the dropdown, so users can type the name of the employee they are looking for

  • Changing the overall name to 'Select Employee', which describes the feature better.

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I would use 2 checkboxes instead of 3 radio buttons, as the 1st radio button is actually the reunion of the other two.

So by default (all employees), the 2 checkboxes would be selected:

[x] North American

[x] European

Then the user can de-select the region they are not interested in:

[x] North American

[ ] European

I also think an auto-suggest is helpful if there is a long list of employees in each region.

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