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How Yes or No Questions Should be Represented in Forms

This is a usability query. Suppose you only have two options you want a user to pick, are there any design considerations to whether to use a check box or an option list with only two options?

Example: The default answer in this case is No/The user is not at Risk

//Using Option
List Are you at Risk? ()Yes (.)No

//Using Check box

[] Are you at Risk?

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migrated from programmers.stackexchange.com Feb 7 '11 at 12:15

This question came from our site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

marked as duplicate by ChrisF, Patrick McElhaney Feb 7 '11 at 13:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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It has already been answered here : ui.stackexchange.com/questions/3335/… –  David Feb 7 '11 at 12:16
    
I migrated this here, but it appears it's a duplicate - sorry. –  ChrisF Feb 7 '11 at 12:18
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3 Answers 3

With the checkbox you have to default it to yes or no. Where as having two radio buttons, neither yes or no is selected until the user chooses one. So there are definitely times that you would want to go with a yes/no radio button in order to force a user to read and answer the question. If you don't care then a checkbox is typically simpler to implement and for the user to quickly interpret your UI.

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If you require a Yes/No, Enabled/Disable, On/Off response from the user, use a Checkbox as you only need to ask one question.

If you require an A or B, This or That decision, use Radio Buttons as you need to get the user to choose between two (or maybe a few more) options and clearly see the differences in those options.

If you need the user to choose one of a long list of answers to the same question (e.g. what country are you in?), use a Drop-Down-List as it is transient, the page layout won't be elongated with all the possible options and there are keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate to the chosen answer (e.g. press U for USA).

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Definitely use Checkbox or Radio button

  • if they can choose both options, than checkbox
  • if they can only choose than a radio buttons

Using drop-down list with only 2 items would slow down the form completion process

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