for an enterprise solution I have a search field and some folders to find results in a large database. Folders can be ‘Recently created’ (e.g. within the last 10 days) or ‘Favorites’.

All of them have in common that only one can be selected and within folders you cannot search (technical reasons). So they are mutual exclusive. Currently we have two solutions and I’m not really happy with them.

  1. Search field + button group: All|Recently created|Favorites

Search field + button group

All button is hardly understood by the users. All would be much, much more than only recently and Favorites

  1. Search field + Buttons for the folders

search field + buttons

This would be a solution without the All button, but then all buttons are disconnected and it is not clear, that those options are mutual exclusive. We have tested some other ideas (like putting the search field inside of the group box – looks funny =) ), but none of them really worked.

Do you have any other ideas?


2 Answers 2


See few common examples to display the folders as filters in drop-down menu. These can be used to select single/mulitple/all filters.

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And why not make it truly exclusive?


It will add an extra step (entering search query after selecting Search tab) but will clearly show that search could not be applied to folders.

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