How well do users understand the term “Filter” when used as the label for an interface control?

Ideally the label would reflect specifically what you're filtering by - “date” or ”status” for example, but where multiple filters are required in a small area I would prefer to use a single button to display the full list of filter options.

We're also considering “Refine” which is used by Amazon and eBay but also seems a little more ambiguous than I'd like and “Sort & filter” which would include the sorting options.

We intend to user test the possibilities but I imagine it's something that's been tested many times before.

Sort & Filter command

1 Answer 1


While I am not aware of any specific research on text options for this functionality, two things come to mind:

Imply meaning via context

Are you able to adjust the overall layout? If so, I suggest moving the "Sort & Filter" box closer to the "175 Results" heading to imply via proximity that the sort/filter actions apply to the results.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

The label text may be less important if the box gains additional context next to the search result title.


Sort and filter offer very different functionality. Could you separate them into two buttons, or must they remain grouped? I presume using "Sort by:" (and "Filter By:") followed by a dropdown of options would be very clear.

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