Projects/Usability/HIG/Radio Buttons

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Purpose

Radio buttons offer the user a choice of two or more mutually exclusive options. Try to limit the number of radio buttons and radio button groups in a dialog. Offering a high number of radio buttons consumes screen space and adds to visual clutter. At the same time, showing all available options at once is an advantage if users are likely not to know possible alternatives.

Examples

Radio buttons.png

Guidelines

Is this the right control

  • Use radio buttons for a few mutually exclusive options. If there are more than five options (or if there is not enough space to arrange four or five options), use a combo box or list instead.
    RadioButtons-1-bad.png RadioButtons-1-good.png
  • If there are only two options where one is the negation of the other (e.g. "apply" vs. "do not apply"), consider replacing the radio buttons by one check box.
    RadioButtons-2-bad.png RadioButtons-2-good.png
  • Use radio buttons if the user should see the choices without further interaction.
    RadioButtons-3-bad.png RadioButtons-3-good.png
  • Do not use a radio button to initiate an action. Consider using a push button instead.
    File:RadioButtons-4-bad.png File:RadioButtons-4-good.png

Behavior

Appearance

Implementation


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