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104

You don't select a default at all Using a drop down list or a radio group - you let the user decide - and this also prevents accidental submision of a form without the user setting this value (assuming it's gets validated) because there is no other way of validating it - only the user knows their gender so there is no right/wrong validation other than 'is ...


93

You're not supposed to leave radio buttons blank. They're allowed to be blank so you can avoid setting defaults as mentioned in the question about setting a default gender. You can't not pick a gender, it's a required field, though you can leave a "prefer not to say" etc. option; this is different than the user never touching the radio button, however. If ...


67

Most times, with a bit of engineering, you can already determine the user's location through his IP or other means. So why not use that process and make its result the default choice? One action less for the user!


53

Use either Responsive Disclosure or Responsive Enabling depending upon the standards in the format you're working in. Responsive Disclosure would mean first showing a radio button like this... download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups ...and then revealing the additional option in the whitespace if the user selects no, ...


44

I think it is a good thing to add the most popular countries to the top of the list as long as you also put them in the right place in the list as well. I hate scrolling to the bottom of a list to find that what I was looking for was at the top, have it in both places.


41

Fun Solution: Translate the entire site into Farsi with English at the top that says "Not Afghani? Select a new Country" Less fun solution: Put the top 5 countries that visit your site as the top 5 choices. People chose the first when they realize they will have to dig through dozens of countries.


41

I need to make it obvious to the user that it is a dropdown. By making it look like a dropdown. Don't make it so wide. The reason it doesn't look 'clickable' is because it doesn't look like a drop down because it's stretched across the entire width of the screen.


31

I respectfully disagree with Michael's answer. I can't speak to desktop GUIs, but in web forms you want to avoid having a default unless you believe a large portion of your user's (maybe 90%+) will select that value. Particularly if it's a required field. Why? Because you're likely to introduce errors because people breeze through forms quickly online - ...


29

There's lots of research in Human Computer Interaction on this issue and the general concensus is that breadth beats depth (read: wide top level navigation beats nested submenus). This is the case due to Short Term Memory (STM) storage issues and how STM is affected by both breath and depth. Pointing to some hard research should help your case to your ...


28

How about using a mega menu? http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mega-dropdown-menus.html


28

This kind of UI elements exists and is used in many applications even if differently. Facebook events Google calendar If well designed they are even more affordant than the usual radio buttons. The thing is, because of this affordance they seem "auto selected" so there is no need of a validation like in your example. Therefore I would say radio ...


27

Put the most common countries first, as someone else already said. Also, consider setting an initial value based on IP lookup? It won't be right all the time, but it won't go wrong as often as your current method. :-) Definitely accompany it with something like "we need your address because... and have made a guess based on your IP address".


27

Microsoft does this in Windows Explorer! I noticed this on my Windows 7 work computer just a few weeks ago, and I can't stress enough just how handy it is (in certain situations) The key here is that they made it exceedingly functional but it also stays out of the way until the user discovers it.


26

The best proven solution: Alphabetical dropdown list, with default selected country being the one that IP corresponds to. In 98% of time the IP will get the right country and customer doesn't have to change anything. If not, the customer can use the dropdown list to locate his country.


24

I would guess that users can't see why you require the country and so are picking the first one in the list just to get through the form. Perhaps you need to explain why you need this a bit more clearly. I notice you have: Please tell us where you live so we can show you books that are available to you at the bottom of the form, but this could be easy ...


22

A single button should perform an action, and not act as a radio button. If you want buttons to act as radio buttons, you should use a segmented button. There is established precedent for this in both mobile and web UI, so people are likely to already understand what they do. Additionally the design of segmented buttons shows that the buttons are ...


20

Q1: First, the convention is to have these on the right, correct? Why is that? There are a few reasonable explanations for putting the drop-down arrow on the right (at least in LTR languages): Readability: Since LTR text naturally starts on the left, this design gives the drop-down arrow some natural whitespace in most cases, and helps make the ...


19

I have no idea as to the actual correct answer to this question, but let me speculate: I think it's because the web has hyperlinks. Clicking on something on a web site is associated with visiting a different page, and as such, if you were to create a dropdown menu that activates on click, the expectation of what it may do when activated is uncertain: will it ...


18

A dropdown list (or combobox) should already be a clear indication that you need to select an item from there, so wasting the first item by telling someone this is redundant and a poor idea. The only times that I would recommend having some other text in the dropdown are: when it is not essential to select an item when you want effectively to select ...


18

For any select list of over a couple dozen options, free-text search with autocomplete support is the only sane option. This is a common pattern seen on real estate sites (Zillow, Redfin, etc) and travel sites (AirBnb, Kayak, any airline, etc.) Kayak shown below. Fred Meyer (big-box retailer) has a 'Select Store' search box to solve this - requesting you ...


17

This type of button is usually called a 'Split Button'. The glossary of the Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines defines the term 'split button' as: A bipartite command button that includes a small button with a downward pointing triangle on the rightmost portion of the main button. Users click the triangle to display variations of a ...


17

Your users are sending you a clear message: they don't want to tell their country at this point in the process (the control is straightforward and other users do specify their country, so I don't think they select Afghanistan by accident). You'll either have to convince them to tell it anyway, or listen to them. Looking at your website, I can think of ...


15

Answer to your main question: This is legacy behavior left over from the desktop. This is how desktop applications did it for decades before the web came along. When form elements appeared in HTML, they just copied the behavior from the desktop. The original designers of the radio button probably couldn't have imagined how this control would be used over ...


14

There are two reasons that multi-level nested menus do not provide the best usability. It is hard for users to physically select the first level item, then the second level, then the third. There is a tendency for the user's mouse to slip off their intended target, and then they have to go back to the top level and start the navigation process again. ...


14

Unless you can proceed without selecting (leave the field blank) one SD options, I would suggest you go with a radio button. Your layout remains consistent if you are using the same input mechanism for similar tasks. Making it easy for the user to proceed quickly. Radio buttons are faster (easier also in many cases) than using a drop down menu. The ...


14

Maybe you could separate the dropdown from the 'Group by' label, and align them at the two sides of the available space and - as others have already suggested - make your dropdow look like a dropdown.: This way it spans over the width of the content (so it can serve as a header) while you have a recognizable dropdown. And if it applies: you can introduce ...


13

A drop down is probably not your best option here. To make this task clearly understandable a more suitable UI would be some form of dual list as in the example below: This does not only offer a selection mechanism but also a constant visibility of what has been selected. Update: Given that you have limited manoeuvre around the design i would suggest ...


12

As other have said, this is perfectly normal and expected behaviour. I'm thinking of going against the grain and writing some javascript to change this behavior, by default, for all future applications that I write. Really bad idea. You would be making buttons that most people understand work in a different way. If you need on/off functionality, use ...


12

It depends on what you want to do. :) Use checkboxes (or other toggle buttons) if you want to provide for applying several filters at once. If you want to use them for single value, then listen to @AndroidHustle regarding manipulating them, and only use them for single, independent, boolean values. download bmml source – Wireframes created ...


12

Setting is singular, so use it if you only have one thing to set. Settings is plural, so use it when you have multiple things to set. This is likely to be the case most of the time, so when in doubt, use 'Settings'



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