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Thu, 31 May 2007 11:58:53 -0400
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Interesting comments!  Thanks.



But I would like to share the new Vista interface guideline for radio buttons (see below).  They specify that they are exceptions to that rule of a default always selected...  I think that would apply to our situation.



Are we in front of a Nielsen vs Microsoft debate?



But for my specific problem :  radio buttons will take two lines.  Our forms are already long.  We don't want any more scrolling.  We tried drop down lists and radio buttons for Yes and No : it just seems weird in the interface...



So, if any of you have any more suggestions, they are more than welcome!



Anne



---





Because a group of radio buttons represents a set of mutually exclusive choices, always have one radio button selected by

default. Select the safest (to prevent loss of data or system access) and most secure option. If safety and security aren’t factors, select the most likely or convenient option.



Exceptions: Don’t have a default selection if:



􀀀m There is no acceptable default option for safety, security, or legal reasons and therefore the user must make an explicit

choice. If the user doesn’t make a selection, display an error message to force one.

􀀀m The UI must reflect the current state and the option hasn’t be set yet. A default value would incorrectly imply that the

user doesn’t need to make a selection.

􀀀m The goal is to collect unbiased data. Default values would bias data collection.

􀀀m The group of radio buttons represents a property in a mixed state, which happens when displaying a property for

multiple objects that don’t have the same setting. Don’t display an error message in this case since each object has a valid

state.









-----Original Message-----

From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion) [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Russell E. Unger

Sent: May-31-07 11:39 AM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: dropdown selections: default values or no?



I'd like to second what Claudia states and throw in some pretty decent

information from (of all people) Jakob:



http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040927.html



--Russ





On Thu, May 31, 2007 10:21 am, Claudia Alden Case wrote:

> Jacob,

> I disagree with your suggestion of leaving none of the radio buttons on.

>

> From a usability standpoint and by definition, radio buttons should always

> have one choice selected.  Otherwise, you break the metaphor.

>

> Radio buttons got their name from the physical buttons used on radios to

> select preset stations - when one of the buttons was pressed, it would pop

> out when another button was pushed in.

>

> c

>

> -----Original Message-----

> From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)

> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jacob Mattison

> Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 6:46 AM

> To: [log in to unmask]

> Subject: Re: dropdown selections: default values or no?

>

> I like to use radio buttons for yes/no.  Typically radio buttons start

> out with neither checked; that can be your cue to prompt that the field

> is required.

>

> Jacob Mattison

> Web Developer

>

> -----Original Message-----

> From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)

> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]

>

> But we have a similar problem with mandatory check boxes. The check box

> has two states (yes/no).  How can we make sure the user meant really

> "No" and didn't just forget to check the box?  Should we then use a drop

> down for Yes, No and use "None" as a default value?

>

> Currently, we propose a mixed state for the check box (check box in

> green) when the user gets to our form.  The user then has to click once

> to check the box and click a second time to uncheck it.

>

> Any proposition on how to treat mandatory check box with no default

> value?

>

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