So, I'm trying to use an optimal UX design for three choices that are responses to questions. The three choices are choice 1, choice 2 and "I don't know." Currently, I've been considering using radio buttons with text next to them, but I'm wondering if there is a better option. I've considered making the item choices into button graphics and having them change color when the user clicks, but that process is very time-consuming and inflexible if you wish to change the text. I'm really open to listening for ideas here.
You can do something interesting things with labels and radio buttons; making them stylistically like buttons or image buttons.
I've had good results by using radio buttons in situations like these and styling the parent label to look somewhat like the tags used on this site - except there would be a radio button before the text.
Play around with it, I think you'll find what you're looking for.
In what context does this option appear? Is it the only thing on the page or is the UI cluttered with other elements? Or is it somewhere in between?
If the screen is pretty barren, I would use radio buttons. That doesn't prevent you from having a button-like background surround them after you select them. Something like this:
But using buttons as radio buttons can be a little bit confusing.