[thelist] [Usability] Where does the "*" required-marker go?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 14 11:33:06 CDT 2002

> From: "Abhay S. Kushwaha" <abhayk at netsolutionsindia.com>
> Another forms and usability question. (Yes, I like splitting hair)

these answers are from our internal style guide for creating UIs for
forms and the like... it's the way i've been doing it for years, for the
most part...

> 1. Where does the "*" that marks required fields go?

i don't use asterisks... i make the labels of required fields bold...
using <label for="foo"><strong>bar</strong></label> allows not
only screen readers to emphasize the text, but it displays bold,
and with a label>strong selector (or really a "label strong" selector),
you can also apply additional styles without embedding nasty
classes or ids...

after all, how often will you have <strong> within a <label> when it's
not supposed to be required?

> 2. Next to the field legend or next to the field itself?

whatever the <label> text is...

> 3. To the left or to the right?

depends on the layout of the form -- oh, wait, you're still asking
about the asterisk...

> 4. Any particular reasons for your choice?

asterisks aren't good visual cues, imo... they're too small, and have
a completely alternate meaning in print...

Read the evolt.org case study
Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself
ISBN: 1904151035

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