Couldn't find sources for this, so asking the community.

Large e-commerce websites tend to have a long list of filter categories with multiple options under each. So much so that users can find it hard to find the filter they are looking for. For example, a search for "dress" in Amazon brings up hundreds of filter options in the left column.

This is often due to poor navigation as users cannot quickly and accurately guess which filter category they should click at to find the option they are looking for.

One way to solve this is an overhaul the filters IA, changing labels, recategorizing, etc and retagging all products. However this seems to be an expensive endeavor.

So I was thinking of What If we had a search bar for the entire Filter column? Similar to how the Search bar under Help in Mac:

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You don't have to try to guess where the option you are looking for lives within the entire menu. Just type it in and it will suggest whatever matches your query.

I'm sure there is a good UX or technical reason why this is not a good idea. What do you think?


  • I think this would effectively augment a hard list of filters, but not be a sufficient replacement. You'd be trading the problem of information overload with the difficulty of programming "fuzzy" logic. Feb 19 at 11:54
  • What do you mean with local search? Also, isn't this the same as predictive search or do you mean something else?
    – Devin
    Feb 19 at 20:23
  • I meant a search (can be predictive) embedded into the Filter Column. So instead of looking for "V-neck" and guessing under which filter category it may live, I can just type it in, select it and apply it.
    – kewpie
    Feb 20 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


I like the idea of adding a 🔎 search to the filter list. Especially with such a complex filtering system as, for example, Amazon.

  • Another idea is to do a simple filter reorganization. If you have click statistics, you can move your most used options to the top of the lists. For example, on Amazon, I would take out the price, size, material ... higher.

  • Another idea is to try grouping filters by category. For example, composition and material, dimensions and color, etc. I think this should make it easier for the user to navigate through so many filters.

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