I'll try not to make this a general opinion question, which is against the community guidelines.

I've noticed that when I put forth an answer with radio buttons in it, there is almost always a strong rejection by the designer asking the question. "They take up too much space" is a common objection.

With more mobile-forward alternatives like toggles and compound buttons, I suppose the world is moving on from radios, even in desktop design. They are still considered highly accessible and thus have value. But, is there a tested, research-backed reason for this, or is it a matter of simply wanting to stay fresh-looking in aesthetics?

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    well, of course they are! (which doesn't mean they're wrong). Personally I never noticed what you say, but I'd assume it's because radio buttons can be easily "hacked" to look like something else. I mean, the input type=radiowill still be there in the code, but it won't look as a radio button, something which is not common to other form elements.
    – Devin
    Feb 24, 2023 at 16:02
  • "Personally I never noticed what you say" 😭🤣 The hacking angle is interesting, existing components can always be updated to look exciting, within reason...
    – Izquierdo
    Feb 24, 2023 at 16:51
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    This isn't exactly researched based, but recently I've noticed chips becoming more popular and read an article about the benefits here. Might be worth a read: uxmovement.com/forms/…
    – Gene
    Feb 24, 2023 at 17:19
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    I definitely have encountered resistance to radio buttons in favor of dropdowns.
    – Mike M
    Feb 24, 2023 at 22:11
  • @MikeM Resistance by whom/in which sample/how many in relation to acceptance? How many displayed options? Static or dynamic number of options? ... Mar 5, 2023 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


I work with GDS design principles (the UK govt digital standard) and they are critically important bits of interaction that we can't do without. Indeed, where possible we favour a radio list rather than drop downs. Radios have big target sizes, work perfectly for mutually exclusive answers, are a well known, tested, piece of kit.

They are irreplaceable

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    yes, but also if you have a lot of options you should use a dropdown rather than radio buttons
    – Devin
    Feb 25, 2023 at 19:21
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    agree 100% - I think GDS say if number of options is like 15+ you should use drop down menus. It's surprising in testing how well lots of radios test though, compared to drop downs.
    – colmcq
    Feb 26, 2023 at 9:27

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