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Re: Form labeling question

for

From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Mar 21, 2008 1:50PM


Jared Smith wrote:

> On 3/21/08, Jukka K. Korpela < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>
>> This is easy as soon as you decide to use a text input box (with
>> size="1") for each entry, instead of the three radio buttons.
>
> Or perhaps a select menu with the numbers as options so as to avoid
> confusion as to what the user enters into the text box.

Perhaps, but select menus are less convenient and less obvious to use.
Besides, if a user types incorrect data in a text box, then we _know_
that something went wrong and we can try some corrective action. In a
select menu or in a set of radio buttons, you can only choose between
given options, and this may be a _problem_: you cannot know whether the
user just skipped the question (unless you use a neutral option _and_ a
"not answered yet" option), and the user is not able to _express_
uncertainty and confusion. In a text box, you can type "?" or something
like that, and then the authoring side can see that there is a problem,
even if it cannot be fixed interactively.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/