I'm working on an app where there are multiple pages where there are a range 2-6 choices of a specific filter. Is it better to use the same control (dropdown) since for each page for consistency or use the best control for the number of options? This question isn't about when to use radio over dropdowns, but do you use both based on number of items or strive for consistency in using the same one - all radio or all dropdown regardless of the number of items?

For example, one page only has 3 options for filter, so use radio buttons. The other page has 10, so use dropdown. Would it be better to do it this way or use radio for both pages? Or dropdown for both pages?

Any usability test results of a similiar situation would be awesome. Or an example where you found other rules trumped consistency rule.

  • Can you add those screenshots up here? The community then would be able to help you with context to every page. Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 5:14
  • Possible duplicate of Dropdown vs radio button Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 5:21
  • Interesting question. I see your dilemma, @SwapnilBorkar I do not believe this a duplicate of that question. Its about when to break that rule to retain consistency
    – Dave Haigh
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 13:37
  • Yes Dave. It's a slightly different question. When do you ignore rules for consistency? Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 15:21
  • @NicoleGreen some would argue that one should strive for consistency first (depending on who you believe), and then break that rule when appropriate, rather than the other way around. Remember that the rule can be applied in many different ways, not just the number of options, but also your page layout and form layout standards.
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


You would need to test each page, from experience users go for speed/ ease of use over consistency. Where the information in the drop down is extensive ( eg a list of towns) predictive lettering is really good)

  • Anyone have testing insights of where they broke consistency for best practices or kept to best practices and broke consistency? Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 15:22

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