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For example, if the user is prompted how long they have spent playing a videogame, with the options being:

  • I have played it
  • I have completed it
  • I have mastered it

Instead of a select list or radio group, would a slider powered by JS be the best option?

For example:

enter image description here

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If the question is how to answer: "how long they have spent playing a videogame". Say some one has played a MMO for 235 days (that's in game time) over a period of 4 years. How would that be expressed in your form? –  Dan D. Mar 18 '12 at 7:04
    
Right, I was hoping for a more subjective measurement rather than the more objective "how long they have spent playing a videogame". "Completed" means I've accomplished the main goal established by myself or the game itself (saved the princess, reached level 100 [of infinite], etc), but I haven't collected all the stars or I'm not among the best players. Or it could be that I'm fairly happy with what I've achieved, but I may want to pick it up again in the future... –  Doctor Spaceman Mar 19 '12 at 5:22
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are two questions two answer here...

1. What do you need to do with the data?

It is important to keep in mind what data you are trying to get from a user. If you are trying to get their subjective opinion on how they are through a game, a 1-100 scale, using a free-sliding slider input, could give you a more in-depth idea as to what they are thinking.

2. What is the most intuitive user interaction?

I think what is successful about the method you showed is that the position of the options gives some context to the user. It shows a progression; least to greatest amount of time, left to right. It makes sense. More specifically it makes more sense than a list of radio options top to bottom. I'm assuming you planned on the slider snapping to one of the three positions.

Free-sliding Slider Input

I would say if you are going to make it free sliding that it might be more intuitive to just label the 2 ends; something like "Tried it out -> Dominated every level".

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Yeah, I had planned on snapping it, giving it a range of 1-3, but I could just as easily give it an additional free-range scale (1-10 ?), making the played-completed-mastered just arbitrary descriptions. What do you think? As for the data, this is just something for the user to keep track of for his own personal use. None of this data will be aggregated. –  Doctor Spaceman Mar 19 '12 at 5:26
    
@DoctorSpaceman - If it is just for the users' satisfaction, then I would just ask people which they would prefer. –  DesignerGuy Mar 19 '12 at 6:26
    
@DoctorSpaceman - I would say if you are going to make it free sliding that it might be more intuitive to just label the 2 ends. Something like "Tried it out -> Dominated every level" –  DesignerGuy Mar 19 '12 at 6:27
    
@DoctorSpaceman - I updated the image to reflect an end-to-end free-sliding input. –  DesignerGuy Mar 19 '12 at 17:31
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The problem with your option is that they provide very distinctive values to the use i.e

  • Played it
  • Completed it
  • Mastered it

There are no intermediate values which would allow the user to provide an option which says I am currently playing it and have completed 70% of the missions. I guess the slider can kind of illustrate that but unless you have some kind of scale which helps him define the completion percentage in each option your slider is just going to confuse him.Here is a rough mockup I threw up of what would convey a better message

enter image description here

Further more with regards to games, the term playing something and mastering it are not mutually exclusive, I could go through only half the missions in a game but I could have mastered all the game has to offer and the potential best tactics to use

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