On this form, the acceptance criteria is to have a convenience all select for a choice. For example, the user selects no and all the radio buttons would select to no.

However, if a user selects different radio buttons then I need to reflect that in the top left global select radio buttons. Since a radio button group should not be deselected and not left empty. So, I have added a multiple radio button.

My question is, is a multiple radio button a good solution? Or should I change the convenience global selectors to buttons instead of radio buttons?

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I don't think multiple is a good idea.

I'd argue that your mental model here is more programmer-driven than user-driven.

Think users

What does the user need to do? What actions they may wish to perform?

How about this:

  1. Select an arbitrary choice on each row.
  2. Select the same for all rows (and there 4 possible actions here - one for each column).

You are already covering 1.

What do you need for 2? Is it a toggle control or trigger?

There isn't really a user requirement to toggle a column - they just want to select the whole column. So the control you are looking for is a button - not a radio button, not a checkbox - just a button to denote 'select this column for all rows'.

So we need 4 buttons. Where are we going to put them? A button above each column would play nicely: It will align vertically with the column, and horizontally you see the select all group (the buttons should look like buttons, not like radio buttons).

You may not even have to label them all. You can put a 'Select all' label on the left and just have an empty square button above each column.


There is an issue regarding the "multiple" radio button: while the other radio buttons (on the top left group) refers to a single column ("No data" refers to all radios in the "No data" column), the "multiple" radio controls the table as a whole. Mixing different kinds of controls in the same radio group can be misleading.

Then, why should the "multiple" option be selectable, since it gives no result in the table?

I'd suggest moving the column control close to the column itself, wether it being a checkbox for a "select all" row, or a series of "Select All" button, placed on the column they control.

Demo with checkbox and buttons

  • 2
    Checkboxes are problematic, because a user can click on a checked checkbox to uncheck it. What happens then? My best guess is that you clear all the selections in the grid, but that seems like a feature that most users wouldn't discover but you'd still have to test. Unless the "uncheck" behavior is instantly obvious (and useful), checkboxes seem like a bad choice. – Joe White Apr 20 '18 at 23:14
  • Well, there are plenty of examples where a checkbox is used to perform a Select All operation, so I'd think users are generally more accustomed to that, rather than a "Select All" button specifically designed for this particular purpose. I can see your point on the "uncheck" action: it usually unchecks all the selected options/checkboxes. Since here we are dealing with radios, it's not that straight forward. – Stefano Apr 21 '18 at 8:58

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