I have been asked by our operations team to add a filter (for country) for a function that displays a table of data (list of payment information), but this display-table doesn't show this type of data. This is a request from their clients.

No one seems interested in actually seeing the country displayed, and elsewhere in our app, the country is filterable without the country being displayed in the results report. The report display is already fairly bloated with data - but I think its odd to allow the user to filter something that they can't see or find.

So, is it best practice to add content in that you can filter on?

  • I'm not sure I understand - why isn't the country listed? Will it always be this way, or does it have a chance to be listed? What do you mean by "the country is filterable without it being listed"? Do you mean that the country may be listed, but even if it isn't you can still filter it?
    – Izhaki
    Nov 25, 2013 at 22:16
  • There isn't a specific reason the country isn't listed, it was never previously requested, and many users would never see more than one country listed. There is a lot of data being shown for each record, so country has a chance to be listed but its competing with a lot of other information. Nov 26, 2013 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


If the use case is "As a user I want to filter the table by country so that I can focus on only the records I care about" and they don't need to know country data on a row by row level, then it would make sense to not add columns to an already bloated results-display table.

The filtering data and the columns in the table don't need to be 1:1, especially in this circumstance where it seems the users only need to know that the data they're looking at is "in scope" for their task.

Just knowing that the filter is applied will give the user confidence that the result set is only "the droi...data we are looking for" and row-level country data would be redundant.

  • 1
    thanks for your thoughtful answer. I feel like one problem is definitely the "already bloated results display table". And for now, the filter can be applied and the user can understand whats going on, but down the road, the bloated table needs some work. Nov 26, 2013 at 16:40

I think this problem is pretty much solved in pivot tables. Where you have four areas, namely: data, rows, columns and filter. You can filter the data by any field that you put in filter area but the field isn't actualy shown in the data table. I agree with Charles, that showing the user what kind of filter is aplied is crucial but not necessarily showing the actual filtering condition. The filtering condition could be shown on demand.

Pivot Table

or in your case:

enter image description here

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