I designed a mobile app which allows users to make selections using radio buttons. The development team is using Xamarin forms which according to the team does not support radio buttons.

The team has proposed using switches instead, but I do not feel they're appropriate in the context of the features.

Feature 1: User can perform a search and see a list of results. In this feature, the user can choose to search by his/her current location or by ZIP Code. Choosing to search by current location will also prompt a modal dialogue to allow the app to use the device's GPS location.

Feature 2: User can receive a code to reset his/her password by text message or email. Choosing text message will also prompt a modal dialogue with a message to the user to ensure the phone number on file can receive text messages.

I don't think switches are appropriate in this context because:

  • I think they should be reserved for off/on or even no/yes.
  • They will have a default value which is not desired.
  • If the most likely option is defaulted (current location and text message, respectively), the modal dialogue will have to appear when the screen loads which will disrupt the flow and confuse the user.

I don't really like the option of a drop down menu either as it seems like unnecessary taps.

Any other ideas are appreciated.




3 Answers 3


Feature 1:

Let the user type in the location with a text field but with the option to use the current location. a click on the "tracking" icon opens modal to ask for permission and fills in the current location.

Location Field with GPS track icon

Feature 2:

If you're opting to get the phone number as additional information you can prompt the phone number input directly with a button "Request via phone" and a secondary action below "Request via email". This obviously works the other way around too, depending on what the user's primary method of conversation is.

Request code


Just from googling I can see that it is possible to make radio buttons work with not that much effort, e.g. here https://stackoverflow.com/a/53914899/1972372.

Having to restrict the UI because the technology behind it is not advanced enough is so not 2019. It is nearly always possible to find a workaroudn for a visual issue like that.

If they still can not do this, I would suggest to adjust normal buttons in a way that they at least look like iOS Segmented Controls, which are a viable alternative to radio buttons.

enter image description here

If all else fails, you could go for a container drop-down like that:

Not too annoying to tap on and opening one closes the other. The open container shows the functionality directly, without pressing a next step first.

enter image description here


How about simple modified buttons? You could validate and disable the non-selected options whenever one is clicked? Or maybe pill type tabs with which you could show the content right under the tabs instead of popping up a modal.

I think you've pretty much thought out all possible web/mobile components that are being used in common practices. From a usability point of view, radio buttons are a great solution to your problem. If you feel like no other component fits the layout maybe you should think about the way in which you are asking for the information and use a different approach (entirely avoiding a form for this data, perhaps).

I hope this helped, Panos.

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