Here's a scenario I am currently trying to solve for an E-commerce website.

Let's say a user is shopping for clothes on their mobile device. The user performs a search for shirts and arrives at a results page.

From here, they would like to filter their results by brand. The user knows that there are 3 brands that don't fit them well and would like to remove those three from the result set;

The user also knows that there are 2 brands that they like the best and primarily wants to shop those brands, but the user is still open to shopping the other brands as well and doesn't want to rule them out.

How can the user remove 3 brands and set preference for 2 without filtering the remaining brands?

Is there a pattern anyone is aware of to apply such advanced filtering techniques? Looking for some best practices that might be in use.

  • sounds like a bit of a confused use case 'I want to exclude these from the list but not really'. I think you're introducing a peripheral use case and my advice is keep it simple. edit: actually this sounds like you need 2 controls: filter to remove the unwanted brands; sort to set a preference for the remaining brands
    – colmcq
    Nov 19, 2015 at 11:41

3 Answers 3


You have a set of items grouped by categories. You want to let the user exclude categories while also allowing them to specify their preferred categories.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

But this adds unnecessary complexity, something the users don't appreciate, KISS.
So I would recommend you to just stick to the broadly accepted way i.e. using a dead simple check box filter. User selects what they want, user is happy. If you insist on showing the user stuff he hasn't explicitly asked for you could do something like What you also might be interested in:.

  • This is actually a pretty good solution. There may be a way in the near future to execute this with a simplified interface as users become more accustomed with swiping features like iOS Mail has been championing, or as 3D Touch hits the market.
    – benr0ach
    Sep 20, 2015 at 20:17

Here is one solution, that aims at making it easier for the user to understand the options he has: Look at attached wireframes -

1) All brand are selected by default. 2) User can deselect a brand, if that is not what he likes. (=not show them) 3) If he/she prefers some brand over others, there is a Like option that shows up for selected ones. Of selected, the brand becomes a preferred one.

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List out all the Brands like Amazon does.


Let the User filter out whatever he doesn't need.

Use a Checkbox for this.

  • 1
    Did you read the question?
    – Larivact
    Sep 20, 2015 at 8:56
  • This functionality is a bit too simple to solve the question I'm asking. Though I do agree Amazon's multi-select filtering is a good alternative.
    – benr0ach
    Sep 20, 2015 at 20:15
  • Are you focusing on selecting these brand preferences each time for the user, or just once? Sep 20, 2015 at 20:16
  • To keep things simple I'm working against a solution that only empowers the user to refine the specific result set for that search, but longer term I'd love to come up with a solution that allows users set global preferences as well.
    – benr0ach
    Sep 20, 2015 at 20:32
  • Sounds good man! Sep 20, 2015 at 21:20

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