Data Table

I wanted to get everyones ux opinion on filtering a data table two ways.

Do you think it's confusing to the user to be able to filter the data table with the filter bar and also have the same filters inside the table?

  • Yeah it might confuse the users. Better use the query by example filters only. They work great. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 9:03
  • It really depends on your users. Are the power users who will be trained in the tool (in which case they might appreciate the flexibility)? Or are you introducing this to people who have never see it before and kind of expect them to intuitively "get" the design? Try showing it to a few potential users and asking them how they would filter items to see whether they gravitate towards the top controls or the inline ones.
    – dekaliber
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 18:31

3 Answers 3


There are two scenarios that work separately in this case:

  1. The filter bar used above the table is for the entire table. Any change in this filter bar will affect the entire table, which is a common understanding of how users generally use the filters.

  2. The way you have projected the filters within table in your mockup are saying - users can change any individual column of a particular row without affecting the change on other rows/columns of that table.

If the business need is to provide an option to filter individual column/row then go ahead and implement the filters within table, but if you want your users to control entire table with the filters that are placed within table; that will be anti-pattern.


Maybe consider differentiating the two options more. Instead of repeating each individual filter then use "quick filters" in the top bar. Quick filters could then be combinations of filter or preset filter that would turn on/off several filter at the click of a single button: http://wellstyled.com/en/ux-grid-preset-filtering/ . Or use the topbar to show which filters are applied so they can be turned off again like a zappos.com shoe-search. Your topbar would then contain "chips" with an 'x'.


Given your mockup, I think there would be at least some confusion because the states of the "inline" filters don't match the states of the corresponding filter bar filters. For example, if I set the filter bar "Query Status" filter to "Open", the inline filter should automatically be set to "Open" to match, and vice versa.

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