Im in the process of making a website where user must select a category between +400 categories and/or subcategories.

The forms needs Parent category and x child categories. What is the best way of implementing this? I have seen people using this example but are there any other options which can be faster and easier? Any tips or help from you UX people is really appreciated.

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This is a sample category dataset:

categories = 
Vehicles  {cars { Audi{ A4{ Quattor, RS, S}, A5{...}, A6}, 
          Trucks{...}, ...
Beauty    {Face{a{z{...},...}},...},
Sports    {Fishing{....}, Biking, Swimming, ...},
...       {...}

This questions is answered but please feel free to write if you have a better method in mind. Thank you. You can still get the up votes or answer.

  • I hate these things, unless they allow me to select multiple items from each category Jan 13, 2013 at 14:06
  • What do you suggest? how do you want it?
    – user22847
    Jan 13, 2013 at 14:08
  • The ability to select both Audi and BMW and get models from both in the subsequent selector. And preferably not being forced to make selections in other categories just because the site thinks that it would return too many results. Let me be the judge of that - perhaps by giving me the number that would be returned if I don't refine my selection any further. Jan 13, 2013 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


In case you don't want to go with classic cascading drop-down selections

Just give the last drop-down as an auto-suggest, since any selection for last drop-down would mean that previous three are already selected by default. And show the chaining in the options when the user type in the last text box, for example when user types 'Qu' in the textbox, show the options as

Quattro -> A4 -> Audi -> Cars

  • 1
    Thanks man. After a search I found that ebay is using this method: 0.tqn.com/d/ebay/1/0/i/2/-/-/main-final-4.jpg
    – user22847
    Jan 13, 2013 at 2:25
  • Hmmm, it looks like an extended version of auto-suggest. But its nice to see a working (and existing) reference of the idea. Thanks for sharing the same.
    – ripu1581
    Jan 13, 2013 at 2:28

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