< Projects‎ | Usability‎ | HIG
Revision as of 07:59, 29 July 2013 by Htietze (talk | contribs)



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.


Radio buttons.png


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


  • Radio buttons are not dynamic; their content or labels should not change depending on the context.

File:RadioButtons-5-bad.png File:RadioButtons-5-good.png

  • Always have one radio button selected.

RadioButtons-6-bad.png RadioButtons-6-good.png

  • Make the first item the default option.

RadioButtons-7-bad.png RadioButtons-7-good.png


File:RadioButtons-8-bad.png File:RadioButtons-8-good.png

File:RadioButtons-9-bad.png File:RadioButtons-9-good.png

  • Align groups of radio buttons vertically rather than horizontally, as this makes them easier to scan visually.

File:RadioButtons-10-bad.png File:RadioButtons-10-good.png

  • If toggling a radio button affects the enabled state of other controls, place the controls that it affects next to the radio button or below and indented.

File:RadioButtons-11-bad.png File:RadioButtons-11-good.png

  • When using a radio button and none of the options is a valid choice, add another option to reflect this choice, such as None or Does not apply.

File:RadioButtons-12-bad.png File:RadioButtons-12-good.png


This page was last edited on 4 August 2016, at 11:26. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.