I am building a form with two settings that have two choices each. The two settings are completely independent; the choice for one setting is unrelated to the choice in the other. The design calls for using radio buttons for these choices, and presenting each setting on its own row. The design could align the buttons in the second column:
...or intentionally break the alignment:
The first is more aesthetically pleasing, but the alignment and proximity of the second column can make the options appear to be related or even exclusive. This problem is exacerbated the farther the proximity with the first column is removed:
My engineering side says that the alignment should be removed, as there is no common attribute to the second 'column'. However, the following image is presented as an argument where alignment of unrelated items improves the design and approachability of a form, and I find the argument has merit:
What metric or guideline should be used to determine when alignment is beneficial to UX vs. detrimental?