[thelist] RE: checked vs. unchecked boxes

ANDREA STREIGHT astreight at msn.com
Thu Oct 21 09:40:01 CDT 2004

While I think this question is exhausted, I had to comment on the well 
intended but erroneous statement that "leaving a box unchecked is making a 
decision for the user as much as pre-checking it is."

Now come on. You can't be serious. Or does it depend on what the meaning of 
"is" is?

Leaving boxes unchecked is not making a decision for users, it's putting 
that decision into their hands.

Likewise the statement: "leaving a box unchecked is pre-selecting the NO 

No way. This is the whole point: Leaving the boxes unchecked is precisely 
not pre-selecting anything for the user.

If this is not clearly understood, I give up.

It's like the term "pre-marital sex." If you never plan to get married, it's 
not "pre-marital", it's "non-marital."

Giving the user choices is not to be described as "pre-selecting" the NO 
option. It's giving the power to select or not select to the user.

I hope we don't have to discuss mousetraps and why it's wrong to disable the 
browser Back button now.

Steven Streight
Web Usability Analysis
Web Content Writing
Online & Direct Marketing

astreight at msn.com

www.vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com  *Web Usability*

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

*Experimental Computer Art*

www.stcsig.org/usability/newsletter/0408-user-observation.html  *latest 
published online article* 

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