What's the best and most intuitive way to have a user choose what units of measurements to use throughout the fields he is filling out ? I have a form with several steps. And I was thinking somewhere in the beginning to have the user choose what system he's gonna use. if he chooses one system, then all of the fields in the other steps will change from : kg to lbs , inches and feet to cm .

What would be the best way to design it ? A radio button or a button or to segment it and have him choose in the beginning or is there any other best way?

  • please post a mock so we can see the context, constraints, and your efforts so far...
    – Mike M
    Sep 22 '17 at 14:55
  • I would go with a radio button
    – paparazzo
    Sep 22 '17 at 15:11
  • Do you want to have a toggle between Metric and Imperial? thus changing all units at once? or are you expecting users to want to use lbs for weight, and cm for distance?
    – scunliffe
    Sep 22 '17 at 18:47
  • Yes,change all at once. I was just asking whether it would be best if at the beginning of the application form he can just choose one system. And then based on that choice all the others would change
    – MichaelM
    Sep 22 '17 at 20:32

Here are some ideas from different websites that sell window blinds. As you can see, the principle is the same: user chooses units and is offered to fill the form after.

Blinds Direct

enter image description here


enter image description here

Direct Blinds

enter image description here


System-wide setting for English vs metric, as one example, can just be a radio pair.

For more discrete contexts, like a single isolated gauge outside of some system or published into some dashboard, I think toggling those units would change them.


Placing a drop down menu seems like the best way to do it. Google does this with their convertion tool (shown below):

enter image description here

And Google are very deliberate about design, even going as far as creating there own design philosophy.

And watch the placement of the "length" Drop-down menu. It tells the user what we are converting, and it's placed at the top so that the user doesn't miss it all. This is what you will probably be using, a drop-down menu with a default currency or something already set a the top of the page. You can use a label or just let the default value be the label.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.