[thelist] RE: checked vs. unchecked boxes

Sarah Sweeney mr.sanders at designshift.com
Thu Oct 21 09:04:43 CDT 2004

>>Question: how do you determine that 99.9% of people want a receipt?
>>it simply a matter of having a pre-checked checkbox which most
>>left checked "by simple oversight"?
> Oh come on, surely this isn't that difficult a concept to grasp. It's
> called /data/. Through your user tracking (whether it be order data,
> site usage, or something else --you DO have user tracking, right?)
> You see that 99% of your users did indeed check that checkbox, which
> you initially left un-preselected for them. So you do them a favor,
> give them a warm fuzzy, help their day out, make their
> clicking-everything-in-sight experience a little smoother. You check
> the box for them. If doing this really keeps you awake at night,
> maybe it's time to go do something else.
> You don't design for the 1%. I'm sorry, you just don't.

You just made my point for me. If 99.9% of users /actively/ checked the 
box, and that's how you know most of them want it checked, then why are 
you (or should I say Joshua Olson, who made this argument) worried about 
people not checking it "by simple oversight"? Maybe the vast majority of 
people do want a receipt (to continue with this example), but if the 
0.01% of people who /don't/ want it end up getting it because you 
presumed to check the box for them, they are probably going to be pretty 
darn ticked about it. I'd rather ask 99.9% of users to check a box that 
face the annoyance/anger of the 0.01% of users who had the box checked 
for them.

Sarah Sweeney  ::  Web Developer & Programmer

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

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