A colleague of mine and I have had a discussion about filtering with checkboxes on one of our sites.
We use a number of checkboxes to allow the user to refine a search, by selecting their areas of interest when searching. By visiting the search page on our site, the user is given all available results after which a more refined search can be conducted.
The discussion is pertaining whether we should have all checkboxes selected when the user arrives to the page or not. We have seen examples of solutions in the wild, but cannot decide which one to use.
We have two groups of checkbox choices and they will contain approximately five to eight boxes each. One concern is that if all boxes are pre-checked it will be a cumbersome operation for the user to uncheck five or six boxes due to his or her being interested in just one or two of the choices.
Could it be considered a convention to have all results displayed when first arriving to the page with no boxes ticked, and then just checking the ones one want to see in the search result?