> > Hello there,
> > I am having some confusion over the usage of listbox and dropdowns. I
> > need some help to clarify the situation.
> > I have had situations when there are 15 items under a single heading
> > and the user is expected to select only one...
> > Here's my understanding:
> > One uses a listbox when the user can:
> > 1. Do multiple selections.
> Check the platform guidelines. Generally, you need a strong
> indication that multiple selection is allowed.
> > 2. Is shown data with further sub-headings.
> Check the platform guidelines. Usually not recommended.
> > 3. When there are two or more listboxes that are related, i.e. making
> > a selection in the first list box changes the options availble on the
> > second listbox and so forth.
> Check the platform guidelines.
> > Would be great to get response on this so that I can settle the doubt
> > in my mind.
> It's good to have doubt. Since you're not being very specific with
> your question, I can't give a very specific answer:
> Check whatever platform guidelines applicable.
> What about using radio buttons?
> Generally, you should show as many of the options as possible as
> quickly as possible with as little interaction as possible. Hence,
> radio buttons and lists that display all available options result in
> faster performance times and lowest error rates. Drop-downs that show
> all options will be slower. Drop-downs that require scrolling will be
> slower still and increase error rates.
> Ref: Johnsgard, T.J., Page, S.R. and Wilson, R.D., and Zeno, R.J.,
> (1995), A comparison of graphical user interface widgets for various
> tasks, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 39th
> Annual Meeting.
> - Ron Zeno
> ronz at despammed dot com
...Generally, you should show as many of the options as possible as
quickly as possible with as little interaction as possible. Hence,
radio buttons and lists that display all available options result in
faster performance times and lowest error rates...
Radio buttons will certainly speed up interaction, but I guess it's
generally accepted to display a maximum of seven radio buttons for a
single heading. Anything more then that would start making the screen
look too filled and cluttered. Although I have seen instances where
there are about 15 radio buttons listed vertically for data in a table
(much like what we see on the inbox of a web-based mail services -
having a checkbox instead). Again my question will be is such usage
OK? My reaction to looking at a screen with 15 radio buttons wasn't
very jarring, as the information was laid out well in alternating
colors for the rows. Also the data contained in the row extended fully
to fit the screen, which in a way, grabbed more attention then the
radio buttons. I feel such usage is fine if the information can be
presented tactfully to hold user attention.
...Drop-downs that show all options will be slower. Drop-downs that
require scrolling will be slower still and increase error rates...
Am not sure if the error rate that you are talking about is in terms
of missing out some information due to the scroll or that you
inadvertently make some erroneous selection and go ahead with it. The
later can be a case with radio buttons too! In fact with a dropdown,
the moment a selection is made it will be highlighted, which I believe
directly catches the attention of the user to what he has selected.