i'm working on a site where users need to filter candidates (Human resources site) on different ways... The thing is, they have for example 6 options displayed with checkboxes, if they select 3 options they can expect that the result could be candidates with those 3 options at the same time or candidates that could have any of them...

How do you think is the best way to filter with those two options? Do you think is clear if we offer the user both behaviors?

I think a good way could be showing a switch before options where you choose if selection is kind of OR - AND...

Thanks before hand.

  • Hi Gabriel, I have a fair share of my career dealing with multiple filters for B2B products. Let me know if the below answer gives you any ideas. ux.stackexchange.com/questions/124401/…
    – tridip1931
    Mar 28, 2019 at 6:25
  • Default filtering of these types is mostly connected with "and". But I think leaving option like you mentioned with AND / OR, is perfectly valid, perfectly clear, and perfectly good UX.
    – xul
    Apr 10, 2019 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


The expected behavior is that you use AND condition. Because they set multiple conditions on a list and a result that is in conflict with one of their conditions can never be straightforward to the users without some kind of explanation.

If you want to use OR, you should be explicitly more clear like:

(for instance, a list of users):

User should met at least one of the following conditions:

  • [v] 100K
  • [v] a second choice
  • [v] blabla

It will give users the context how the checkboxes will be recognized by the system.

  • Agreed - for filtering I believe users will expect a filtered list to respect ALL filtering conditions, thus they expect them to be ANDed together.
    – Mattynabib
    Apr 9, 2019 at 21:00

Following on my comment above, while users may often want to see filtering conditions ANDed together, there are often sub-selections WITHIN condition categories that further define those categories.

Think of Amazon's faceted search; items you search on have multiple categories, and if an element of a category is selected, that CATEGORY becomes an AND, a required element in the search.

But in some categories you can select multiple sub-options that are ORed together. For example, in the hard drive example below I could select Amazon Prime, and I would be shown only hard drives that qualify for Amazon Prime, in addition to any other criteria.

I could also select three different choices in the Brand category, and it would show me ONLY drives from the brands I'd selected; the brand category becomes ANDed with Prime and my search term of "Hard Drive." But within that requirement of a brand, it would include only drives from brand 1 OR brand 2 OR brand 3.

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I could easily see a case for searching for "People who are in Boston AND have a masters degree AND have more than 5 years of experience, who are also EITHER a designer OR a researcher and who are EITHER looking for full time OR contract work."

A more robust faceted search-type system could work well in a case like that.

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