I'm having more difficulty to translate a simple filter builder to my users, with the conditionals:

"and", "or" and "(" , ")"

With based in this, I created this version:

enter image description here

I would like to create anyone that were simpler.

But in this model, I didn't create this conditional:

Process is equal X

AND ( Status is equal Canceled OR Status is equal Working )

Could anyone help me?

  • I'm struggling to understand what you want yo achieve, can you explain further? You have processes and you have to create a customizable ways of filtering? Why is there a "tree structure" in your image (filter in the first process)? Jan 26, 2015 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


You're looking at advanced query building if you start getting into using both AND and OR together. I would start by questioning do your users actually need this level complexity in their filtering.

If you do have power users in this category and it's necessary for them. Then you probably need to implement both a simple & advanced query builder.

Here's an example from JIRA a ticket management system. Their search is effectively a filter as leaving it blank returns all tickets.

Simple Search

enter image description here

Advanced Search

Their advanced search essentially takes in a text-based query string. The beauty of a query string is that it's very easy to group items together using brackets. However, the user now needs to learn syntax.

JIRA's query string field does provide autosuggestions as you type. That reduces the cognitive load a bit. They also provide detail documentations on their custom query language so you can look up specifics: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Advanced+Searching

enter image description here

This is of course a fair bit of work to set up. Which is why I ask, would your users truly need this ability.


Okay if users really need conditionals, can you get away with a simplified version sort of like an email client mail rule builder which only allows AND or OR but not a mix?

enter image description here

Or how about a faceted search like on an e-commerce site?

You need to come up with sensible "AND" and "OR" options for the user beforehand, but most users have been on an e-commerce site before and knows how to use a faceted search filter.

enter image description here

  • This is a good exemple. But my users necessary the conditionals to view. They don't now how to construct them. Documentation isn't enough to them.
    – MPossel
    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:04
  • @MPossel Updated answer with 2 more possibilities for you.
    – nightning
    Oct 28, 2014 at 20:04
  • hi @nightning in this exemple of mail rules, i don't get to group some conditionals, like : Process is equal X AND ( Status is equal Canceled OR Status is equal Working )
    – MPossel
    Oct 29, 2014 at 11:08
  • @MPossel That is correct. Most mail rule system only provides either AND or OR functionality. In order to use both, you really can't get away with applying groupings. Grouping is difficult for average users to understand and use. You can try with a paper prototype asking your users to combine multiple "mail filters". I really doubt your typical user need that sort of functionality so it's not a bad idea to run a test to confirm.
    – nightning
    Oct 29, 2014 at 16:51
  • I already in the visual step, cause this job is to late. But I will try to test with visual prototype. Thank you! :)
    – MPossel
    Oct 30, 2014 at 11:49

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