So I have some options that a user can choose from, and then from those options they can choose sub options.

Right now it is setup using the jquery accordion, where the main option is clicked and then it shows the sub options. It makes sense to split up the main options and then have them select the sub options.

How to present them to the user is what I really can't seem to solve.

There are 5 main options and then anywhere from 0 to 4 sub options. There is only 1 option that has 0 sub options; the rest will have at least a few.

Anyway, should I create 5 radio buttons instead and then with some jquery show only the sub options for that selection? Should I continue to use the accordion style? Only problem with accordion style right now, is it doesn't seem to flow that well and with the one main option with 0 sub options, I had to make a dummy selection.

The other thing would be a selection box, but with only 5 main options. That seems a little over the top and I think radio boxes would be a better choice in that case.

Any suggestions as to how to organize options with sub options would be great.

1 Answer 1


Matt, I think the radio and accordion sections is probably your best bet if you have just five choices with a few suboptions.

The advantage of accordions is that they occupy less space and enable the user to see all of the sub options at once, not ALL of them, but the relevant ones.

The disadvantage of a drop down box is that they are ugly and can't stay visible after a selection is made.

  • 1
    So i decided to stick with the accordion. I styled it differently and made it collapsible and by default all options are collapsed. Seems to flow better now and I'm liking it. Hopefully it will be more user friendly and people won't miss it. I may do some A/B testing to see what works better, but ill post it here so other people will know.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 5:48

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