[thelist] RE: checked vs. unchecked boxes

ANDREA STREIGHT astreight at msn.com
Tue Oct 19 17:47:59 CDT 2004

"Pre-selection" of boxes, boxes that are already checked prior to any user 
selection, is an abomination.

Forcing options on a user violates the fundamental concept of the Web: user 
empowerment and freedom to interact or not interact, power to choose, to 
select on one's own initiative.

I personally am aware of no situation where "pre-selection" is ever 
permissible, from the standpoints of ethics, usability, and credibility.

Thus, my advice is to do away with "pre-selection", "pre-determination", 
"predestination" in anything.

I dislike it when I fill out a registration form, and choice boxes are 
already checked. Are they hoping I won't care, and in a big hurry, just rush 
through the form, and forget to "un-select" those pre-selections I do not 
want? Some are being deceptive in this little con job.

I had a newsletter subscription form with "HTML version" pre-checked. I 
clicked on "Text Version", submitted the form, then the verification message 
informed me I had subscribed to both versions. Stupid, impatient, in a big 
thunderous hurry me, I should have "un-selected" the HTML Version, not just 
selected the Text Version. See what I mean?

Users, in every web situation I know of, resent having browser Back buttons 
disabled by a site, encountering "pre-selected" options they don't want and 
didn't select, being forced to spend one half hour interacting with ads, 
denying or accepting offers, to get a $50 Appleby's restaurant gift card.

Take control and choices away from users, and you got yourself an old 
fashioned, push-things-at-the-customer marketing disaster.

Steven Streight

Web Usability Analysis
Web Content Writing
Online & Direct Marketing

vaspersthegrate at yahoo.com

www.VaspersTheGrate.blogspot.com  *Web Usability*

www.StreightSite.blogspot.com  *Mentally Correct Marketing*

*Experimental Computer Art*

  *latest published online article* 

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