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Summary & Question

Users need to be able to filter on a column in the table and include "null/empty" values in that multi-select filter. What is the correct/usual way of solving this?

For example, one would wanna filter by "high" and "No value" in this case below and see table with both:

Filtering values

If just "high" is used, the user - as expected - only sees high:

enter image description here

Details / research

I've tried / thought of:

  1. adding "No value" in the filter option, something like this (I do not like this very much as it might be confusing to the user):
    • enter image description here
  2. one could have a checkbox near the filter somewhere that would say "Include empty" or something. Not entirely sure where that should be though - did not find the exact same problem anywhere although I'm sure I'm just googling wrong.

Questions I've already checked:

Requirements

  • This same solution has to work for search-select without preloaded options as well, which means that showing "No value" in there is not an option (although it would work if they typed that in, but feels entirely wrong as user cannot know what select option "empty" cell represents).

Any tips/ideas/research/links appreciated!!

3 Answers 3

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For tables – good idea to avoid clutter and keep it clean.

Some (perhaps more tech savvy) users would expect to have a "No value" option in the filter. Then you can temporarily show "No value" or "N/A" in affected cells, but only if filter has been applied.

This same solution has to work for search-select without preloaded options as well, which means that showing "No value" in there is not an option

I would consider that users would at least try to search there. Hence it makes sense to add alternative descriptors so that the option shows up when searching "Empty", "No value", "No data"

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Start by labeling columns with unspecified values:

unspecified label

Then allow for selecting "unspecified" in the filter:

unspecified filter

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  • That could work - but I think we shouldn't use "unspecified" or anything there tbh as there's multiple columns that can all mean different things based on data not being present.
    – trainoasis
    Nov 30, 2022 at 14:01
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Users of tables with a "maximum risk" columns tend to be familiar with Excel :). Like most users of most table-related software in the world. So I would consider adopting their convention and using [] Blanks for this.

enter image description here

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