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Let's say that we have an hotel reservation system, and a choice between three kinds of rooms. Also, we can choose between having TV or not. (This is not the real use case, but it's a simplification to show the point). This gives:

default screens

Now, when you choose the economy room, TV is not included by default, and if you check TV there will be an extra charge. So, the initial state of "TV" is not checked.

When you choose standard room or luxury room, the TV is included by default. The initial state will be checked. However, some users prefer to uncheck it (for whatever reason).

The above layout makes easy to check if there will be or not a TV. The typical user is using this screen 20 times a day, so he will not read the label and only look at the mark.

However, the information "is this a standard decision or am i opting for the special" is somehow hidden.

The alternative would be

default screen 2

Now, it's much more clear when you are changing the standard. However, knowing if there will be a TV or not is more involved, you need to really read the label.

I find it difficult to choose between the 2 scenes ....

Also, may be there is another design that combines the best of the two ?

Note: This is a simplified design. The "room" part is way more complex, and I would prefer not changing it. The design changes should afect only the lower part. (The TV checkbox, that doesn't need to be a checkbox at all)

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Edit: Using the same checkbox that changes depending on the above option is risky as the user might select it blindly. So in my opinion it is better not to change the checkbox to the opposite, from TV to NO TV. As this is a reduced case I am not sure if it will be the case. However, this is an alternative:

enter image description here

(Not sure if the phrasing should be "optional TV" "included TV")


Original:

What about including both options? This way you make the option explicit, the user understands the default one, and you reduce number of interactions:

enter image description here

I am not sure if including both "with TV" and "without TV" in different options might be confusing, so the left option doesn't mix them. It would be better to test with users and see which is easier to read.

  • Thank for your answer ! However, the scene as I posted it is a simplification. The real one has way more options , and nested. I would need a solution that involves changing only the checkbox part, not the radios part. – vals Feb 2 '17 at 10:06
  • @vals I understand, you found a quite easy-to-understand and realistic example that I thought it was the case. Let me see if I can rethink it. – Alvaro Feb 2 '17 at 10:14
  • Thanks for helping! I am still confused about what to do, though. I agree changing the caption is risky, but I still would like a way to differentiate the options – vals Feb 2 '17 at 18:40
  • @vals If you change the text, at least make it imply the same in both cases (have TV in the room?). I'm glad if it could help :) – Alvaro Feb 2 '17 at 18:43
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I believe that the only thing that is missing is how to give "context" between the TV option and the rooms.

enter image description here

In this example, I focused the fact the TV is an extra. It can give a sense of "belonging" to user like "If you book Standard, you get a free extra of having the TV included".

For those who select Economy, having the option TV disabled can help "up-sell" to the standard room to receive an "extra" for free.

  • Thanks for the feedback! But I can't disable the TV, it's not my decision :-) – vals Feb 2 '17 at 18:37
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The only thing I added in this is the phrasing of TV. I think now it is giving the exact context of the coditions.enter image description here

  • Thanks for the feedback ! However, I still feel the "standard"/"no standard" distinction is lacking. – vals Feb 2 '17 at 18:34

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