Chapter 8

Sorting and Filtering

After your customers get the information scent that lets them know they are on the right track to finding what they need, the next step is to help them winnow down the avalanche of data to the size manageable in the mobile context of use. That’s where the sorting and filtering design patterns in this chapter prove invaluable. Many of the so-called Experimental Patterns, such as Sliders with Histogram (Chapter 10, “Data Entry”) and Filter Accelerators (Chapter 11, “Forms”) can also be used for sorting and filtering, so be sure to also check out relevant sections in those chapters. 8.1 Antipattern: Crippled Refinement

Before talking about refinement patterns, let me make something very clear: Mobile web should be as good as desktop web, or better. Crippled Refinement is a fundamental UX antipattern to be avoided at all costs.

When and Where It Shows Up

Whenever there is an option to filter and sort mobile or tablet search results, there is a great temptation to “dumb down” the interface to only one or two refinement options. Additionally, mobile interfaces that limit search refinement to a single step fundamentally cripple the flow of search experience, which proceeds via multiple consecutive refinement steps.


Although it is overall a highly successful and lucrative mobile app, Amazon provides the example of a dumbed-down filtering process. ...

Get Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for Developers now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.