A/B Testing Idea #322 - Suggest a criteria option instead of a filter option for sorting search results

Tactic_Suggest a criteria option instead of a filter option for sorting search results


When you display search results, it is important to help your customers find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. This will avoid them becoming overwhelmed by choice and quitting the site before conversion. When you offer a simple option to sort by price, this doesn't allow the customer to select a specific price range so they will still probably have to trawl through a lot of irrelevant search results. For example, if I'm looking for a holiday that will cost between £300 and £350 per week and I choose to display the search results by price from lowest to highest, I'll have to scroll through until I find the first property that fits within the desired price range. However, it would have been much easier and especially faster for me if I could have chosen a criteria saying that I wanted to see only the holidays costing between £300 and £350 per week. If you don't offer more specific criteria options for sorting search results, there's a chance visitors will quit your site before they even reach the results they could have been interested in.


  • Paradox of Choice (Schwartz, 2004)
  • Autonomy bias (Deci, 1971; Ryan, 2008)

The Research

Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice explains the fact that having too much choice can in fact lead individuals to reach less effective and satisfactory decisions that they would have if presented with less choice.

Autonomy bias

We prefer situations that we have control over.

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