Sorry for bugging you with such a simple question, but I'm wondering what your insights and experiences are in the usage of Android's defined filter icon.

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Based on my personal experience, there's no such thing as a standalone, unambiguous icon that represents a filter (Ideally either incl. a text label or only text).

However, Android seems to use three bars that are supposedly represent a funnel (I guess).

Has anyone encountered problems with the usage of that icon? Is it easy, understandable, and discoverable to customers?

I currently tend to include a text label rather than an icon, but I'm also aware of the fact that this may be a well-known and native pattern defined by the system and therefore useful for customers who're familiar with Android.

What are your thoughts in that regard? Any previous experiences?

Thanks heaps, guys! :-) Highly appreciate your input here.

  • Honestly, this icon seems flat-out wrong. There are in fact two "standalone, unambiguous icon(s) that represents a filter". List filtering is a funnel; audio filtering is 3 slider bars. This icon you show is neither, but seems closest to a very-low-res version of the audio filter icon. I agree, don't use it, it has no common recognition :) Oct 2, 2020 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


I would believe that you are asking the wrong people this question...

You should ask if your target group understands that and not what bunch of designers experienced about this.

My advice - do some testing with your users and you will see!

  • Obvious, but not very helpful in this instance. Isn't that the first thing every designer would do if they can? Wouldn't your answer apply to the majority of all questions? I do ask specifically about personal & previous experiences and insights of matter experts within this specific topic that may lead me to form a more solid hypothesis. In this example and based on our current roadmap and timeline, constraints, and potential additional engineering efforts I don't have the ability to reach out to my Asian target audience and confirm this yet, even though I would ♥ to. Hence the Q. Jun 14, 2018 at 10:39
  • I see your point! But the problem is that this question depends so much on the target audience that it is hard to answer. US audiences can be different from Europe or Asia. It depends if the audience is young or elder people. It depends if the product is more for tech navy people or more non-technical people. I think you see my point already. This really depends on the audience. Younger, technical people who use apps in everyday life mostly will be more open to an icon. Elder or less technical people might struggle to find out that this is a filter. Hope this helps. Cheers! Jun 14, 2018 at 15:13

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