[thelist] RE: checked vs. unchecked boxes

Sarah Sweeney mr.sanders at designshift.com
Thu Oct 21 07:47:12 CDT 2004

> Let's say you want to give the user the option to receive a copy of the
> information upon receipt and history has shown that 99.9% of people want a
> receipt.  You have a couple options:

Question: how do you determine that 99.9% of people want a receipt? Was 
it simply a matter of having a pre-checked checkbox which most people 
left checked "by simple oversight"?

> 1.  Give them an unchecked checkbox that is labeled "send me a receipt".
> 99.9% of people want a receipt, but it seems likely that less than that will
> check the box by simple oversight.

I think you need to give your users the benefit of the doubt. Don't 
assume they want a receipt (i.e. by pre-checking the box), and don't 
assume that if you leave the box un-checked most people will overlook 
checking it even thought "they really /do/ want a receipt".

> A person is updating their preferences.  The last time they updated their
> settings they specifically checked an option.   When they look now, would it
> not be nice to have the same option checked?

IMHO, this is the only time it is appropriate to pre-check a checkbox 
for a user.

Sarah Sweeney  ::  Web Developer & Programmer

VOTE!  ::  http://www.declareyourself.com/

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