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In this application, a user must choose one of 3 ways to divide a volume between a tank or tanks.

  1. Put everything into one sufficiently large tank.
  2. Divide the volume evenly into sufficiently many smaller tanks.
  3. Divide the volume so that sufficiently many smaller tanks are completely full except the final tank which may be partially filled.

Each of these options appear next to a radio button.

Is there a way to word them more intuitively?

Thanks!

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Could you put a small graphic next to the text for each button, to reinforce the options? –  Alex Feinman Apr 17 at 18:44
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Are the tanks of 2. and 3. the same size? Because it appears than with 2., the number of tanks is variable, but none of them is actually completely full? I don't see the purpose of having, for example, 14 small tanks half-full instead of 7 small tanks completely full. –  jgthms Apr 17 at 18:59
    
@jgthms It's about what to do with the left-over space, I assume. The number of tanks is the same in both cases, but in the last case, the last tank isn't full. In the second case, this empty space is distributed over all tanks so that they all contain the same amount. So in both cases there would be 7 tanks. –  Peter Apr 18 at 17:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I would illustrate primarily visually, with text only as a safeguard for users who don't get the idea.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

If you have to use only words, I'd probably go for:

  • One large tank
  • Small tanks (with equal amounts in each)
  • Small tanks (with all but the last filled up)
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Great answer. A picture tells more than a thousand words. –  Bart Gijssens Apr 18 at 9:30

Could this work ?

  1. Fill up one large tank
  2. Split it equally in X tanks
  3. Split it in X tanks with as many tanks full as possible
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