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Radio buttons are great, but…

Are two clicks better than one? There’s a few places I see radio buttons used where I really wish the UI designer had used separate, ‘action’ buttons. For example, in Sharepoint 2010 when opening an Office Document:

image

Which I would prefer as:

image

Or this one from the software I’m using right now (Windows Live Writer)

image

where I would prefer

image

(Apologies for the crappy hacking together of my sample images, but you get the idea)

Not only would these different approaches reduce the number of clicks necessary to achieve your goal – they’d better satisfy Fitts’ law too – with the buttons representing a bigger target than a little radio button (and label, if the developer remembered to wire it up).

 
Josh Post By Josh Twist
7:45 PM
30 Dec 2010

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Posted by Hüseyin Tüfekçilerli @ 30 Dec 2010 7:50 PM
Or better yet, you can use Task Dialog (for Vista and up) See: http://www.rubli.info/t-blog/images/vista-file-copy-overwrite.png

Posted by Josh @ 30 Dec 2010 7:53 PM
Beautiful point!

Posted by Jon Skeet @ 30 Dec 2010 7:57 PM
I certainly take your point, but you've lost an option there: cancel what I'm doing. Basically in each case you'd need to have a Cancel/Exit button to make it functionally equivalent to the original dialog. Of course, you *could* leave that just as a cross at the top right, but I think for significant operations (like reformatting a document) it makes sense to make it really obvious how to abort.

Posted by Josh @ 30 Dec 2010 8:00 PM
Great point Jon - the Vista Task dialog provided by Huseyin above is probably a better example than my quick hacks.

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