I have the following dilemma:

I have 3 toggle buttons (for filtering a list) which have the same hierarchy weight. Button A and B are mutually exclusive, means if I select button A, button B will be de-selected and vice versa. Button C can be combined with A or B.

Here is an example where I grouped A+B together (with different possible states):

enter image description here

So the following combination of selection are valid: (none), A, B, C, A+C, B+C.

Now I'm having a hard time making it clear to the user what he's to expect from the filter buttons.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance, Jay

1 Answer 1


Sorry this is only crude...but just separate out the different filters with a vertical rule. The first ones and can then be the radio either-or combo you're after with the next section clearly being an individual option.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Another way would be like this:


download bmml source

And of course there are lots of different styles, but radio buttons imply one or the other and checks can have multiple ones selected.

Hope that helps

  • @chris has the right idea. I prefer the 2nd option but with stacked radio options so there is no confusion over which button applies to which label. It also more clearly makes each filter step look self-contained.
    – jkuss
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 16:54
  • Radio buttons are men't to be used where there is always one option selected, right? In this example it's difficult for the user to tell if he can select none of the buttons.
    – Rolf ツ
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 10:12
  • Hi Chris, thanks for your input. Much appreciated. I thought about the Radiobutton solution as well. The problem with that is, that Radiobuttons, once selected, can't be de-selected. And that is a must have. I could give them this option, but that would be a counterintuitive behavior for Radiobuttons.
    – Jay R
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 5:08
  • you could have a 3rd radio button that was 'neither' although that would be a bit unconventional. Alternatively it could actually be a slider with either end as the options and the middle point as off?
    – Chris
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 5:31

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