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Users are confused and don't understand the boxes on top of the summary page are for further filtering the results. Some think the boxes are to enter new values. What is the best way to indicate these are search/filter options?

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  • Placeholder text works Oct 31, 2021 at 13:11

2 Answers 2

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Use placeholder, but be try to be specific about the input type as well:

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Try reversing the stripes

Another approach is to remove the tiger striping from the row, and use the background for the filter bar, to emphasize its 'separateness' from the data itself.

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Normally dropdown lists use 'Select...' to indicate more UI (a menu), but you might try using the word 'Filter...' and test on users.

Another option: move the filters to a bar above the table

In this approach, you can be explicit w/ a filters label, and if there are common columns to filter on, you can order those any way you like. This pattern is useful if you have a data table with lots of columns that don't fit in the viewport (but some might have a filter).

You'll see this approach in Google Flights. It's not a spreadsheet like UI (it uses fat rows), but users can see at a glance if there's a filter engaged.

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  • Great suggestions/options. Thank you Mike.
    – Senthil
    Nov 1, 2021 at 10:39
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Put a Search/magnifying glass icon and text label inside the boxes

Alternatively, add a Search/Filter icon/text & don't show the fields by default, until the user clicks the option.

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  • Thank you c. That is a great option. Now I have to figure out how to do this using Yii!
    – Senthil
    Nov 1, 2021 at 10:43

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