The ultimate list of things to know if you want to add search filters to your product

Abstract illustration showing filtering of colored elements.
Abstract illustration showing filtering of colored elements.

A UI designer’s biggest job is communication.

With today’s computing, our products can deliver millions of bits of information to the users. Making that information accessible and letting our users navigate it the way they prefer is the essence of UI design.

One of the best crutches we have for efficient communication with our users is filters. Designing filters is all about ensuring the users can get exactly what they want, with minimal browsing.

In this article, I’ll talk about what search filters are, when they are necessary, how to choose which filters to add, discuss sidebars vs horizontal toolbars, and talk about the general best practices when designing a filtering UI system. …


With every app having dozens of features, how do we guide our user, instead of overwhelming them?

The round stones stacked in a pyramid.
The round stones stacked in a pyramid.
Image by Edvard Alexander Rølvaag

Modern technology is complex. It’s not always complicated though, thanks to our constant striving to make human-computer interaction an effortless experience.

However, the more intricate a service/product, the more difficult our job becomes. Two factors make our job today tougher than ever:

  1. There’s more computing power than ever before — which means the apps and programs can include more and more features.
  2. Mobile apps rule the software market — which means there’s less and less actual space for UI elements.

This is why today UI is all about creating and structuring feature hierarchies.

Feature hierarchies vs. the essential, but rarely used functions.

Creating a feature hierarchy is easy enough. You take all of the features available in an app and evaluate them according to two main…


For decades being a UI/UX designer meant arranging buttons and menus. But UI can mean so much more.

Facial Recognition System User Interface
Facial Recognition System User Interface

Windows. Icons. Menus. Pointer. WIMP.

WIMP’s been the main style of human-computer interaction ever since the Xerox team came up with it back in the ’70s to imitate actual office desktops.

And while it’s unequivocally functional, sometimes it feels like we’re treading water in a four-decade-old pool, instead of facing new and different frameworks. WIMP’s so dominant, that it’s tough to imagine working with a computer without it.

This is where ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) presents an interesting challenge for us to consider.

Ubicomp: what it is and why it matters

Ubicomp is a somewhat nebulous term, but for our purposes, it means the kind of technology that’s designed to let the user complete their tasks without actually interacting with it. …


5 game design techniques to implement for a “gamified” experience.

Image for post
Image for post

Directing users’ attention. That, they say, is the primary job of a designer. But I’d argue that things are a bit more complicated than that.

Depending on the product we’re building, a user might simply be forced to give us attention to get a vital service or a product. At that point, the attention is a given, but does that make every banking app well-designed? Of course not. This is where we come across the idea that good design might just mean that users want to give us attention.

This is where the somewhat nebulous concept of “gamification” comes in. Fundamentally, it’s striving to create the kind of experiences and products that our users would want to play with by integrating the principles of game design. …

About

Valery Zanimanski

Head of Design at Awario.com and Link-Assistant.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store