I'm trying to figure out the best UI for:

1.) Presenting users with a default set of search results (let's say 'toys')

2.) Allowing the user to filter those search results per standard checkboxes (filter by age, brand, etc)

3.) But ALSO allow them to expand the search results into different related categories (for example, I'm on a children's products site and I'm viewing toys, but now I'd like to see toys and school supplies all in the same set of search results).

It doesn't seem intuitive to use checkboxes for both filtering the results (only show me these types of toys or school supplies) as well as expanding the search results (show me toys and school supplies). Does anyone have any examples of sites that do this well or ideas on how to present these options?

  • But why would you want to mix results of unrelated items? Or am I missing something here?
    – ThaSaleni
    May 21, 2015 at 12:44
  • Think of it as related categories of items. Another example could be flight results, but you may also want to see options for train and bus transportation.
    – hbrown
    May 21, 2015 at 15:15
  • Still doesn't make sense to me, kind of would mess with the results unnecessarily, does a user searching for a flight really want to see buses? I would say not, but I don't have any research to support this, so that's that... it would make sense to have a seperate section and search on the website for buses, and another one for flights in my opinion
    – ThaSaleni
    May 22, 2015 at 12:17
  • Let's say I filter by ages 20-30 and brand Lego. Then I add a category (shoes). Would the same filters also apply to the new category?
    – tohster
    May 23, 2015 at 5:51
  • What relates categories? If you're underlying data doesn't contain this information, your category expansion is arbitrary. Jan 8, 2017 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Problem Statement: User wants to search ‘TOYS’ in Kids category and School Category.

Why: Users’ intent or need is to get toys for his/her own kids at home and kids at school. Painpoint: User feels that his/her time is getting wasted by doing multiple searches, once in Kids category and once in School category.

Solution: User is given an option to search in multiple categories by selecting the categories in which he/she wants to look into.


  • Welcome to UXstackexchange. However your post does not answer the question.
    – Mayo
    Jan 8, 2017 at 13:43

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