I've searched for something like UX Best Practices for using Web Controls. I thought Google, Apple or Microsoft would have something like that but I can't seem to find anything on it. No studies nothing. Most of the stuff I found is intuitive and self-evident type taking.

Specifically I'm looking for something like:

Radio Buttons: Use Radio Buttons when question choices are mutually exclusive or there is only one possible choice. Selection text should always be to the right of the control. An "Other" option should always be included in the list of choices.

Many thanks,


  • As you are building a web UI and run into specific questions, this is precisely the forum for asking those specific questions and getting advise on best practices (or I'm sure you can find a question that covers a lot of it already). In other words, this site itself is "UX Best Practices for Web Controls".
    – J. Dimeo
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 14:38
  • Thank you. I search this site more intensely for best practices.
    – RickyD
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


You're not going to find it, as far as I am aware. In the example you have given, it reads like a restrictive definition of use and the web isn't like that. Sure the W3C have a bunch of rules and information about how things should be displayed, but they're not laws.

From a UX point of view, we discuss best practises and how to make things more useful for the user and increase their interaction with a product and hopefully, their enjoyment.

  • @RickyD To expand a little: that particular definition might be the result of some UX/style-guide planning session for a particular application (but even then, the "always have an "other"" would seem odd), but is too prescriptive as general-purpose guidance.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 12:30
  • Thanks UXForm12 & TripeHound. I've been looking for quite some time, and didn't think I'd find it. But I'm glad I found this site.
    – RickyD
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 15:07

While there are no 'laws', there's some useful info (with research) in Luke W's book Web Form Design

He has a whole chapter just on labels (alignment choices), form controls, smart defaults, and a whole host of recommendations of forms and web controls.

You'll also find some guidelines on Apple's developer site:

Radio buttons are typically presented in groups of between two and five to provide the user with a set of mutually exclusive but related choices.

There are no laws, but these guidelines are the result of much trial and error and years of product development.

You'll also find some guidelines in the book About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

It discusses the use of bounded (range) controls, spinners, combo boxes and more.

If you like some old school docs, check out the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines

Yes, it's over 20 years old, but it's a great overview of the thinking that went into the older macintosh interface. They go into detail about when to use certain controls when choices exceed a certain threshold.

It's good to know your history (in my opinion).


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