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Our app has a requirement for list filtering that the user can create keyword filters (with arbitrary terms) with include/exclude and "all of" vs "any of" features. For example,

  • Show items with "covid" or "coronavirus" and not "MERS" or "SARS"
  • Show items with "2022" and "pandemic"

Anyone know public web app(s) that have a nice concise but clear UI for this?

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Consider something like Twitter's advanced search:

all of these words, this exact phrase, any of these words, none of these words

(Note that what looks like placeholders in the image are actually labels that pop into the corner of the input field. This is important so users can still see at a glance what each field is for, even if they have something already typed in it.)

It's easy to know what you need to do, even if you've never used an advanced search before. It also doesn't even require more clicks to do a simple search. And of course it translates neatly to a smaller mobile view: the labels would just need to wrap while the text boxes shrink horizontally.

There are more search options, tucked away under the fold because they are unlikely to be useful in most searches.

This form creates the equivalent search in the search box. A user can then learn what each box does from experimentation (e.g. "all of these words" puts words in quotes), and create searches by using the main search bar.

If you were using this form, your searches would be:

  • Show items with "covid" or "coronavirus" and not "MERS" or "SARS":
    • Any of these words: covid coronavirus
    • None of these words: MERS SARS
  • Show items with "2022" and "pandemic"
    • All of these words: 2022 pandemic

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