Designing an application that has a checklist for workers to fill out before starting routine Maintenance work. this includes a list of 10-15 safety checks. this will be used on an android tablet on site.

My question is what's the best control to use for the checks.

should it be

  • Toggle
  • Check box
  • 2 radio buttons (with yes and no)?

What other considerations should I make to decide this?

enter image description here

  • Airplane pilots do routine checks, guided by checklist, on every flight. Perhaps looking into how they solve it might help.
    – Pablo H
    Commented Feb 27 at 15:12

4 Answers 4


If it were a personal project, I would consider some fundamental points to take into account when choosing a design option:

  • It's a functional element
  • – to fill out before starting routine Maintenance work– could be interpreted to be checked periodically or at least more than once
  • It's a choice with a certain sensitivity or importance: safety checks

Being the case, my main decision would fall on the visual contrast between each choice and the global set of options so that it's exaggeratedly clear which ones are chosen and which ones are not.

I see better clarity and higher contrast using simple radio buttons. In my opinion, the toggle buttons have unnecessary visual information for this case.

enter image description here


The toggle and the checkbox will show that the item has been checked and found satisfactory. An unchecked checkbox [or a switch in "off" position] will not defintively show the difference between whether an item has been checked and failed, or not been checked.

A pair of Pass/Fail radio buttons can start off empty (unexamined) and then be completed with Pass or Fail as appropriate. You could implement a repeat click as "Clear": mark a Fail, and remove that mark and go back to "unexamined" by clicking Fail a second time.

Note that radio buttons should never actually be clear, but it's a convenient state in some circumstances. And even physical radios which had these selector buttons could be carefully set so that nothing was selected. However, this is in effect a third state so there could be three radio buttons for Unexamined/Pass/Fail.

Do you need the "unexamined" state to be different from the "Failed" state? If you do, you can't use controls which don't provide that distinction.

  • thanks for the suggestion. I would need to be able to differentiate the unexamined from the failed. Unexamined would be the initial state until the user checks it. In this case, there would be 3 states. What would you propose in this case?
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 12:25
  • I covered it in the second paragraph, but the edit to the third is explicit. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 12:35

If the goal is to make the "Not Done" items stand out so that they can be addressed, you might even want to move the "Done" items to another section.

It could work roughly like this, where the user clicks a Done button once the task is completed:



  1. Item 1 [Done]
  2. Item 2 [Done]
  3. Item 3 [Done]


  1. Item 4
  2. Item 5

I see it from the interaction perspective and take hints from the wording. They do "security CHECKS" I'd go with"CHECK" Boxes. It's in the name.

Switches are designed to be used to switch something on and off. Your checks are not designed to be unset right?

Radio buttons are designed to have one of multiple states. I guess there is only one acceptable state on a safety checklist right?

How did they do these checklists before there was this app.was it a paper form? You can and should stick to the "control" used on the paper form.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.