[thelist] RE: checked vs. unchecked boxes

Peter Brunone (EasyListBox.com) peter at easylistbox.com
Thu Oct 21 12:10:56 CDT 2004

   Call me a dunce, but with options like those, I have to wonder if *you're* doing some trolling here.  Really, now... why would you have a checkbox for any of those?  Wouldn't you just say "plus you get frequent flier miles and free shipping!" in your introduction?

   And the first one is so ridiculous that I shouldn't even have to comment on it.  That kind of option is about the same as "click here to unsubscribe"; I wouldn't touch that business with a ten-foot cat5 cable.

   The point in all this is that, according to some trustworthy usability standards, you should use checkboxes to give the option of doing things outside the normal flow or process (free shipping?  Come on.), and that their "off" state indicates that no action will be taken.  Steven may not have expressed that in the most ideal way, but it seems pretty obvious even so.   Next up:  why hidden frames are evi-- ah, never mind.

 From: Greg Holmes <greg.holmes at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 10:01 AM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] RE: checked vs. unchecked boxes 

Steven Streight wrote:

>Likewise the statement: "leaving a box unchecked
>is pre-selecting the NO option."
>No way. This is the whole point: Leaving the boxes
>unchecked is precisely not pre-selecting anything
>for the user.

You *really* don't get this? Or are you trolling?

Checkbox. Two states. Whether the default is 
checked or unchecked, there *is* a default.
Unchecked is a state.

The *only* way to have no default would be to use
radio buttons (with no default selection, obviously),
and validate that a choice was made. Or a
dropdown with "Please choose" as the default
choice, together with validation to make sure
that the user actually choose something.

And, just for fun ...

[ ] Warn me before you do something evil

[ ] Add to my frequent flyer miles

[ ] Give me free shipping, if I am eligible

Gee, good thing the developer didn't default
these to checked!

Greg Holmes

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