Should there be more size filters on

A search for outdoor gear led me to the Altrec ecommerce site today. As I was browsing around, I noticed a tab at the top labeled Outlet. Now I love a good deal, so of course I’m going to check out what’s on sale! I headed over to the Outlet and clicked on the Women’s department.

Scrolling through the results, I came across a North Face jacket I liked, so I clicked through to the product page. I selected the yellow color, only to find that size small is not available. Okay, frustrating, but fair enough. I decided to head back to the results page to find something in my size.

altrec1 copyUnfortunately, when I arrived back at this results page, I realized that there is no size filter. The left navigation provides a fair amount of refinement options, but size is not one of them. What a bummer!

altrec2 copyI tried narrowing down the results a bit, so I scrolled through the departments and selected dresses & skirts. Once I got to this page, I found more refinement options included in the left navigation, and size is now available. So I can filter by size after all, it just has to be within a department.

altrec3 copy

Overall, this isn’t necessarily a bad filtering tactic. However, I can’t help but thinking that it would be nice to be able to filter by size without choosing a department first. What if I want to browse through all the various types of products, not just dresses or pants, and see only items that are available in my size? Some sites do allow you to do this, and I think it’s awesome. For example, when you shop the Women’s Sale section at, here’s the size filtering menu you can use:

gapfilter copyThis menu lets you select your size in tops, bottoms, dresses and more, then returns only the results in your size in the sections you’ve chosen. I love it! I would like to see it on more sites, including Altrec. I would strongly suggest they add a refinement menu like this to their Outlet.

What do you think of these different refinement strategies? Which do you like better: the model used by Altrec, or the menu used by Gap? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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