I have an app (direct to consumer) with search and advanced filters. But in some parts, it loads a list and has the filter by keyword functionality, so the user doesn't need to scroll. I wonder if I should use filter (word) and (filter keyword)?

Microsoft standardizes this, for example, in Microsoft Teams In chat, they have the keyword filter icon: enter image description here

After you click, it displays the input field "Filter by the name" enter image description here

I wonder if non-tech users know that finding something already loaded is a filter versus using something like a magnifying glass with the word "find or search." In some frontend libraries, such as Vuetify, the filter function is replaced by the word "search."

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


I don't believe most users know the difference in terminology, and I've seen these terms used interchangeably in big-tech companies as well (as in using 'filter' for server side search).

However, what matters is not the terminology but if users know what to expect.

Both these patterns appear in common apps today, and IMO users just start typing, and will know to click the submit button, but if results show up as they type, they recognize this filter pattern.

The use of the filter icon is less common, and I believe it can easily be replaced with a search icon/field to make it more familiar. In my contacts app there's a search icon that actually filters, but in my calendar app, the search only happens when I submit my query. I never noticed it until you asked 🙂

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