I have a page where the user is asked to choose one of two options so more information can be provided. I used a radio button group (bootstrap) which has no default option selected (see mock below). Others on the team have doubts that for some users it will not be obvious what to do.

Is this confusing to the user?

Do most users realize this is a simple "select one or the other" option?


2 Answers 2


If you don't have a default, you probably shouldn't use radio buttons, or Bootstrap radio button groups. In fact, it's your choice of controller here that's creating the problem.

One possible solution is simply to present the options as being visually distinct and use appropriate labeling to indicate that an answer is required and the options are mutually exclusive. You should also make it so that only one of the options is selectable at one time.

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The "standard" look of radio selections is a well-understood design pattern

The UI you have presented shows a pair of buttons. To the user, it can be unclear what the expected behavior of this control is. Buttons are usually used to change the view state, which is similar to the radio button behavior you intend. This visual appearance is also sometimes used as a checkbox interface, which independently toggles the items. When the user approaches this interface, it is not clear what will happen when she interacts with the control.

Users may not understand that the options are exclusive

Radio selections are unambiguous that one and only one of the options is selected. If the form design does not present this, and your options are insufficiently distinct (a very common problem on forms), users may become frustrated when the form advances without allowing them to choose multiple options. Presenting in the well-known radio button style makes this expectation mismatch less likely.

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