There is one tricky issue I'm dealing with now.

In the system working with data there are filters. One of them is shown in the form of list with "Select all"/ "Unselect all" buttons and user can filter out some settings he needs (as the example I would explain it on colours): he can select options like red, blue, green etc. and one special option meaning "no colour" - does not equal to "transparent", but more to "we don't have data about this object's colour" or "this object should not have a colour".

So the question is: how this option can be marked in the list together with other options, but not "lost" among them? Basically, how can it be named? "No data" is not clear, "no colour" does not describe properly, that we simply don't know, if there should be one...

Putting this option apart or creating another "level" of filtering defining if the object should have a colour or not is not a solution. User should be able to select at the same time e.g. "no colour" and "red".

  • What about "Not specified" for the items where colour was not specified and "Unspecified" for the items where it is not possible to specify the colour (is not within 16 colours that men distinguish between or composes of more than one colour at a time)?
    – Mike
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:43
  • I think I would like both ‘colourless’ and ‘no colour specified’ options. Does that work?
    – user109724
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:59
  • @Mike "Not specified" looks already better 🤔 The case here is not about exactly colours (I've used them for an example), but imagine a train ticket - some tickets are for "Class 1", others - for "Class B", but there also can be tickets without any classes - the train simply has all the seat equal, there are no classes specified in it. This example I think better describes the case.
    – nyferty
    Aug 7, 2018 at 6:23
  • @nyferty - in the case of train tickets I'd use "General admission*" (*based on places availability) which means if there are unoccupied seats in 1st class, you can take them, but if both 1st and 2nd class are full, your "general admission" ticket doesn't guarantee you any particular seat and you have to stay in the corridor or ride on the buffers. What is your case about then?
    – Mike
    Aug 7, 2018 at 8:11
  • @Mike The case is about filtering on base of a parameter of the object in the DB, both examples (with colours and tickets) are used to put it somehow on the ground :) The initial case is more difficult to explain. Using tickets metaphor: if this element ("Not specified") will be selected - the results should show tickets (seats, not corridor space), where we either don't know the class (no parameter specified in DB) or the tickets for trains, where there is no division into classes. I will try "Not specified" wording with some visual definition and question mark next to it. Thanks a lot!
    – nyferty
    Aug 7, 2018 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


This reminds me of the kind of questions you get on a new site where you are asked about your profession and you end up selecting the "Others" option.

So why not having a last option "Irrelevant" in your filter mimicking just that.

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