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I'm working on filters for a tablet game interface (in HTML 5). First, I considered displaying classic checkbox groups but that uses a lot of space (requiring the user to scroll) and it's not visual enough to understand the filters quickly.

So I've been thinking about another solution which is similar but with a button and other stuff like that (see below)

enter image description here

I have many different needs here:

  • classic button on/off
  • list box to select one (and only one) criteria
  • List box to select multiple criteria
  • Select 2 colors
  • Use horizontal slider to select a specific value

So I'm here with some questions:

  • Is it appropriate to use another form of filter, since this is a game? I mean to not use classical checkboxes (facets) like on commercial websites.
  • The game is optimized to play on a table but I'm trying to do it also for holding it in two hands and play with thumbs, so in this case long list filters is better I suppose but, as filters zone is not large I'm wondering if it's really important. I want the user to use it as quick as possible but I want to make it as easy as possible (well... that's quite obvious...)
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Focus on Taps/Clicks when designing tablet interactions...

There are many ways to accept input from users, however, clicks are much easier than anything else on a touchscreen device.

For this reason alone I would avoid using range sliders and focus on filters that can be achieved with clicks alone. That doesn't mean the entire filter needs to take up screen real estate the entire time.

In the case below, a single tap shows the list of options and then additional taps inside the pop-up allow the user to make the selection they want while a tap outside the pop-up will hide it again.

tap filter

source: qlikview

There are certainly ways to make dials and range sliders work in the filter pop-ups as well so you aren't limited to only using check boxes. Using one pattern across all filters will reduce how much your users have to learn though.

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It's difficult to say what will work best, because there are different aspects to consider.

First of, users are creatures of habit. They have certain expectations and conventions will work best, interface elements they know. So checkboxes and select boxes will work best.
I do have to mention I'm no fan of sliders, I think they're bad practice. It's often difficult to select a specific number. Sliders only work well when the number range is small and the slider has steps.

You could try other forms of filters, because - like you said - it is a game and you might want the filters to be fun.
Since you have so many filters I can't help but think the filters are a large part of the game.

You also might want to consider the amount of filters you have. The process of selecting the filters can be tedious and might have a negative effect on the enjoyment of the game. (but that's based on very little information)

The major thing to take away is that you won't know for sure until you launch (a trial version of) your game.
Look at how your users use the game and make decisions based on those observations.

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