Select radio button triggering action?

20 Jan 2006 - 10:58am
10 years ago
1 reply
1241 reads
Ockler, Sarah

We're working with a vendor on a Web application for searching for a
doctor. The first screen requires the user to chose from 3 options:

How would you like to search?

o Search by medical condition
o Search by doctor's name
o Select a saved search

The options are presented as radio buttons. Selecting a button
immediately triggers the action to load the next page. I think this
would better be handled with links. Is selecting a radio button to
initiate the action a standard behavior?



20 Jan 2006 - 11:28am
Josh Seiden

It's OK to use radio buttons to toggle views, but not
so good to use them for bang navigation.

For toggling views is ok, because:

-- a great deal of stability is preserved as you
toggle between states. You maintain stability by
ensuring that the radio buttons stay visible, and are
presented in the same location relative to the other
major elements of the (page, dialog, etc.)

-the cost of an error is low. Recovery is easy (you
simply click the other radio button) and fast (the
toggle time is negligable.)

It's not a good idea to use radio buttons to trigger
navigation, however. How to tell if you're
"navigating" vs "toggling views"?

-if your resulting page does not present the radio
-if the framing context in which those buttons appear

In those cases, the interaction will likely feel like
a navigation, and you should use another model.

I agree that links are a better choice. They're
associated with navigation. If you can't use them, at
the very least the radio buttons should be paired with
a "go" button of some sort. This lowers the cost of
some types of mistaken selection.


--- "Ockler, Sarah" <sarah.ockler at> wrote:

Is selecting a
> radio button to
> initiate the action a standard behavior?

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