I'm working on a web system, that will have an admin area and a normal user area. There are two types of normal users: Type A and Type B.

In the admin area, the administrator will register categories. Some categories will appear only to the users of Type A, some others only to the Type's B users, and the another to both.

I would like a suggestion to a good control to the administrator input this value, I thought in two checkboxes (with on/off style):

  • Show for A users
  • Show for B Users

The problem with this solution is to validate when the admin leave the two checkboxes empty. I want to a solution that the admin can't input the value in a wrong way. So I thought in use radio buttons instead, like this:

  • Show only for A users
  • Show only for B users
  • Show to both

But with this, I fell myself afraid to show so much options to the admin user. This screen will be used so many times to register a large number of categories and I don't want get my users tired of.

What would be a better solution?

  • What could be better than the simplicity of three radio buttons? Part of setting up a category includes thinking about and clicking on one radio button - doesn't sound too unreasonable. You might consider allowing some sort of bulk action, after the set up, if you are really concerned i.e. Set up five categories, when done, click checkbox next to three of them, click 'Bulk Actions', set settings for all three together.
    – dennislees
    Jan 19, 2018 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Radio button groups should always have exactly one selected item. This eliminates your second solution of having a radio group as it would require you to keep a radio item selected which can lead to a situation where the admin might not notice this radio group leaving to the default selection and thus saving a wrong value at the end.

As you have mentioned, the first solution does have a similar problem when the admin leaves the two checkboxes empty.

Alternate Solution:

A better solution would be to use a mandatory single select dropdown since you want the admin not to miss out this selection and at the same time to make a correct decision. The drop-down should have the below values:

  • Select (default)
  • Show only for A users
  • Show only for B users
  • Show to both

Here, if no option is selected at form submission as the default selection is on "Select", a mandatory field error will be shown to the user taking his attention to this field. Thus, the value will always be based on the admin's deliberate action.

Reference: Checkboxes vs. Radio Buttons

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