I'm going to try to be straight on this one.

So implying I have an advanced search in which i start filtering by ANY contents that have "Quantity Type" as abc, by setting: Quantity type IS abc

It is going to return me all contents that have Quantity Type as ABC, including a channel named Tank 1.

But if I am to set Tank 1 as an exception, I would have to add a row stating Channel IS NOT Tank 1.

So I would end up having something like this:

enter image description here

The problem is that since I have set "match ANY", these filters are in conclict. After all, what counts? Any that are ABC (including Tank 1), or any that are not Tank 1? So my question is how to treat this? I want the user to avoid having conflicting filters.

  • Isn’t there an option to match “all” of the conditions? – jazZRo Mar 9 at 20:15
  • I forgot to mention. "All" is the alternative to "Any", and it would work fine of course. The problem here is the user being able to set "Any" and then arranging conflicting options – feelerino Mar 9 at 21:10
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    Technically, if the filter is "ANY", they don't conflict. These two sets of conditions become an OR query, not AND. – Izquierdo Mar 10 at 2:42
  • Thank you @Izquierdo. I was uncertain about that, even thought about having an individual AND/OR before each row, but I really find this general ANY/ALL much simpler for the user to grasp the whole thing. – feelerino Mar 10 at 13:39

Your filters are not conflicting. But do you need them?

As it was already mentioned in the comments, your filters are not conflicting, when the condition is set to any, because logically speaking, they will be connected with an OR clause.

However, when you as the designer are having troubles figuring out the logic behind those filters, chance are that your users will have the same problem. I would therefore suggest to discard the any setting and couple the filters with an AND clause.

A lot of websites (especially in ecommerce) use filters and the vast majority always applies all filters. If you can't think of a specific use case that requires an any setting that cannot be worked around, it might be easier to just remove that hurdle. Because chances are that users might overlook that setting and get frustrated because the filters don't work as intended. In your above mentioned example I would argue that users can simply scroll over "Tank 1", which would be much less interaction cost than actively filtering out that one result and racking their brains over any vs all.

There are a lot of helpful resources about filters out there (for example NNGroup or Baymard Institute) and I would suggest you focus on those best practices instead.

  • 1
    Thank you for the comprehensive reply – feelerino Mar 23 at 22:32
  • My pleasure :) Please feel free to mark this answer as accepted if you found it helpful – QWERTZdenker Mar 29 at 6:41

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