Checkboxes: Should the action of "checking" present the user with options/settings?

28 Dec 2009 - 3:57pm
4 years ago
3 replies
607 reads
Johnny Wooder
2009

I have some general usability questions in regards to checkboxes:

1) Should "checking" a checkbox present the user w/ feature
options/settings the checkbox turns on/off (ex: would show a
pop-window w/ options)?
2) Should the label of a checkbox link to feature settings that the
checkbox turns on/off (ex: would show a pop-window w/ options)?

I have been playing around with the various ways to handle this. I
have designed an upload tool for a client that allows them to upload
a photo and change its metadata using a basic UI. They can choose to
receive emails telling them when someone, other than themselves,
makes a change to the photo metadata. I handled this by providing a
checkbox to turn on email notifications. They can also choose when
they want an email to be sent; for example, the user could choose,
"I only want an email when the title is changed", etc.

>From the options I provided, is option 1 or 2 acceptable?

Thanks,
Johnny

Comments

28 Dec 2009 - 10:03pm
Justin Davis
2008

Johnny -

Is it possible to forgo the modal dialog box, and use some jQuery or
similar to make these extra options a dynamic piece of the interface?
I think offering options on the check of a box is fine, but I'd
display it inline, not in a box.

Something like this, maybe?
http://maderalabs.com/images/dialog_check.jpg

Justin Davis
Madera Labs
http://www.maderalabs.com

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48097

28 Dec 2009 - 4:45pm
Jan Benway
2009

On Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 4:57 AM, johnny wooder <johnnywooder at gmail.com>wrote:

> I have some general usability questions in regards to checkboxes:
>
> 1) Should "checking" a checkbox present the user w/ feature
> options/settings the checkbox turns on/off (ex: would show a
> pop-window w/ options)?
>

No, checking a checkbox should not make a popup window immediately open.
However, checking a box could open up an inline div below the checkbox where
more options are now available.

> 2) Should the label of a checkbox link to feature settings that the
> checkbox turns on/off (ex: would show a pop-window w/ options)?
>

No, I don't think making the label into a control would be clear. However,
you could add a second link or button ("edit options" say) next to or below
the checkbox to open the popup.

Overall, I would do the modified version of 1 (inline options that appear
when the box is checked) if most users will want to adjust the options. I
would do modified 2 (control next to the checkbox to open a popup or an
inline div) if only a few users will adjust the options.

-Jan

29 Dec 2009 - 12:56am
Charles Boyung
2009

Regarding #1 - I agree with Jan that displaying something inline could
be okay, but displaying a popup is a bad idea.

Regarding #2 - The label on your checkbox should perform the same
action when clicking on it as when you click on the checkbox - i.e.
checking or unchecking it, along with any actions associated with
that state change. This is a standard usability and accessibility
practice, primarily because a checkbox is relatively small, and a
label is that much easier to click. This is why the "label"
element in HTML has a "for" attribute that you can associate with a
form element, so clicking on the label provides focus to the form
element.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48097

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