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We are working on a search engine (non- Ecommerce). After changing or editing the search query, should the filters stay selected (assuming the user have the same criteria) or should it be cleared (assuming this is a new search query with different criteria)?

  • By all the means, it shouldn't be ambiguous for a user. So, probably, the best practice is Google search (including advanced one). If you really need search and filters, just keep the hierarchy, like the Search is the primary tool, and the filters are applied to search results. So on new search, filters are cleared. Take a look on Booking.com. – Alexey Kolchenko Apr 10 at 21:07
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The filters should be cleared, as your new search term maybe for something entirely different from the original search query. Either way, the indication that the filters have been reset needs to be clear. Do check how your competitors are doing it to gain more insight.

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In principle, I wouldn’t change or modify user action without their consent.

Modifying search filters through a reset, adding or removing filters should be left to users rather than the system inline with heuristics (User Control and freedom)

Worth noting that filter reset functionality is typically introduced when there is far too many filters to unselect individually.

It can be difficult to remember which filters have been applied. Having to go through each filter, and find all applied filters is time consuming. The more mental energy your website demands, the quicker your users are going to become tired or bored.

5 UX Best Practices For Powerful Retail Filters

Filter Reset allows users to be more efficient by clearing all selected filters with a single action.

Also, a change in query doesn’t really mean the intent of the user has changed. What it means is that the user has reformulated their query. The user intent might still be the same, in which case you might be doing them a disservice rather than helping them by resetting the filters.

So, overall, handing control to users is the best option.

Hope that helps

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It totally depends upon the context of using filters. In typical e-commerce products the filter resembles user's preference (size, type, colour, etc to name few).

You might need to ask this question to yourself: is there any value addition for users if the filters are applied? If yes then how many such use cases are covered? If not then you have your decision!

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