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I'm currently working on new tables for our web platform. I came to a point when I need to design some filtering options as part of the design. One of our developers told me to use a text field that opens a menu since he already developed it:

enter image description here

For some reason, it looks a bit strange to me. I don't really know why, but I prefer using buttons such as these: enter image description here

What do you think? is there any rational explanation why using buttons is better than input-fields?

3 Answers 3

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I guess what you mentioned is correct. The filter buttons must indicate the purpose of it explicitly.

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Sometimes those textfield filters can be better, if you cannot narrow down what the users might filter (like in your date filter). But they are definitly not the "Works-everywhere-all-the-time" solution. So my answer is: It depends on the filter content.

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With the information I have in your description, using the text fields may be better for 2 reasons:

  1. On the buttons, one a user chooses a filter value e.g Today, it automatically replaces the filter category i.e Last modified.. Depending on how well users understand the values, disappearing labels might be an issue. Also, if you have categories with similar values e.g Last edited and Last viewed and both are filtered to Today, it's hard to know which is which once the label disappears.
  2. The component is development ready, so it means faster time to implement. As UX designers, we need to know when to take a compromise for the sake of technical constraints.

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