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82

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 ...


70

I believe it should as the entire region in the eyes of the user is the "selection". Now, I think you can look at this issue from another angle which is...how do we remove the perception of a space? One solution is to include a background surrounding the checkbox and label region. On hover over, the background could change color as well to further ...


42

Don't do that, there are different approaches to filling out values, and for some it would be disruptive. For example if the user just wants to change the last digit... A good, non-disruptive alternative would be a small "clear input" button.


37

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.


36

1. What if the user doesn't have a keyboard? It's a perfectly valid case. Not only some forms doesn't require interaction with a keyboard (for example a form with a couple of combo boxes, radio buttons and checkboxes), but even if the form has textboxes and textareas, it doesn't mean that at the exact moment of form submission, the user is ready to use her ...


36

You could have the input value selected when the user clicks on the input. This way the user can just press backspace or start typing to change the value or copy the value instantly.


34

I cannot understand why you'd want a reduced click area for your form field. Including the "for" attribute on the label tag allows you to increase the clickable area. It has been a web standard for quite a while and I would think most users are used to the behavior at this point, making it a convention. While it may not be a convention in software, I would ...


30

I really want to say "never!", but as with all things, there are exceptions. As mattlant mentioned it can be because there are items on the page that cannot be lost, help pages can be good for this, as the user may be half way through filling out a form when they click 'help' and are going to be pretty annoyed if they lose all their entries (although a ...


27

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 - ...


27

The difference you're talking about is often referred to as "fixed width" versus "liquid" or "fluid" layout. Fixed width layouts are MUCH easier to design than liquid ones. When you design a liquid layout, you need to control many more aspects of the display. What happens when windows shrink beyond a minimum width? What parts of the window can stretch, ...


25

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".


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 ...


23

It's not the end of the world if you skip headings in this manner because users will most likely still find the content, but it does go against the general structure of the content and adds a bit of a barrier to users accessing using assistive technologies. One way to look at it is to think of a trio of military chaps in a room; a General, a Sargent, and a ...


23

To select one option of a limited number of choices, Radio Button Inputs would be the way to go.


22

I agree with the user Jared Farrish: it's to make the content more readable. If a paragraph spans the entire width of the browser window, it can be taxing on the eye to move from the end of one line to the start of the next line if the paragraph takes up many pixels in width. Many websites tend to limit the width of the page for this reason. In addition, ...


22

I would answer no, the terminal punctuation should not be included in the hyperlink. It is the text that is being hyperlinked rather than the construct that the text is a part of. Consider other such constructs: in an unordered list you wouldn't include the bullet point in a hyperlink, in an ordered list you wouldn't include the number, and in a ...


18

In short: No, average users don't understand that. You could either just show all options with checkboxes or try something fancy like a dropdown with checkboxes (example, see features dropdown). This would have to be tested though. Hope that helps, Phil


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 ...


16

If you're building a web site or application, HTML mockups are far superior because you're designing the mockup in the format as close to the final product as possible. This allows you to set expectations much more easily, it constrains you to just what's possible in the final product, and it affords much greater flexibility. This convention is gradually ...


16

I can't believe no-one's mentioned it, but PDFs and other non-web documents should be opened in a new window, mainly because users who do not understand windows/tabs/embedded plugins have a greater expectation of that behaviour than the 'replace web page with PDF' behaviour of 'same window' linking.


16

People can reach non-front-pages of your website by many means, so you should have some indication on every page that it is possible to switch languages. If the clean design is that important that you don't want the complete language switching widget on every page you should at least provide an obvious link to the page (or pop up) that enables language ...


15

Unfortunately not. When you say non-technical: there's a huge difference between non-programmer and 90% of the non-technical users out there. A surprising number of users (I think it's around a third of everyone on the web) can't scan text - they will use their finger on a page to read and will lose their place if forced to scroll. These users will ...


15

A dropdown with 450+ values is extremely unusable on any device, including desktop. But you say that you're only looking for a solution for the basic mobile version, so let's stick to that. Probably the best way to simplify this for the mobile is to have a first screen/popup display the alphabet, then as you tap a letter you drill down to the list of ...


14

Traditionally, "Sort By" is indicated via up/down arrows that represent sorting ascending or descending. The column names should have a higher level of contrast than the values, such as bolder text or a shaded background. Personally, when coloring alternating rows, I usually go lighter rather than darker, because the effect grows more pronounced the longer ...


14

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

Those 'others' are incorrect. This is the intention of the HTML label tag and the proper implementation. Aside from the accessibility necessity, it's also a huge UX benefit especially with things such as checkboxes, where it's usually easier to hit the label than the tiny checkbox. If these 'others' hate it, tell them to stop clicking on the labels. ;)


14

You want to look to sites such as W3.org for advice on this. Many people with cognitive disabilities have trouble tracking lines of text when a block of text is single spaced. Providing spacing between 1.5 to 2 allows them to start a new line more easily once they have finished the previous one. The W3C accessibility guidelines 1.4.8 state (emphasis ...


13

A full-size table allowing the browser's scroll bar (2) to do the scrolling of the data is a better user experience, since multiple scroll bars on the same page would tend to confuse users and be a bit infuriating. Of course, this only applies if the data we're talking about scrolling here is the main focus of the page, in which case, it would be ...


12

I disagree with the notion that target="_blank" is always bad. In some cases, especially in web applications, it can be very useful, as in the situation you're describing above. (And I've also met a breed of web designers who hate it simply because the latest W3C spec says it's illegal...) The reason UI designers don't like it is because it takes control ...



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