I'm designing a "recommendation" experience and was wondering if anyone has data or results on the use of live filters (where the user sees results as they choose parameters) versus Q and A (where the user chooses parameters and then they're "computed" and show their results).

The differences, as I see them, are:

  1. Live filtering is immediate while Q&A is input then output.
  2. Live filtering allows the user to choose a recommendation with just 1 parameter set while Q&A requires all to be set.
  3. Live filtering allows for faster, easier tweaking - which may be negative if the user gets distracted by playing with the filters.
  4. Live filtering is very transparent (you see how your parameters affect the output) while Q&A veils the decision until you submit your parameters.

It's important to note this would be a one-time, onboarding experience and in the ideal scenario the user is satisfied with the presented results the first time around and doesn't want to try and get a different recommendation.

  • 1
    Q & A is simpler, and may be cheaper and faster to market. For a one-time per user operation, dynamic filtering may be overkill. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


For most cases live filtering is more learn-able and engaging. Thus a better UX based on these criteria.

The one advantage a form-submit Q&A UI may provide is can have more real estate and guidance (e.g. wizard). This can be used to provide more information to the user in the case the user needs to learn about each parameter in order to configure it confidently.

If users are on-boarding, learning a new system and being provided with a choice that carries a perceived moderate to high level of commitment then they are very likely to "what if" scenario test their answers. i.e. see what different options are available. In this case the Q&A UI would be a bit tedious.

Thus a key question becomes: How confident are you that the users will accept the first recommendations of a Q&A?

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