While betatesting one of the various programs that pass by my hands, I stumbled across this truly unique gem of madness:
radio0 Using radio buttons as command buttons is a bad idea

Clicking on Font pops up the font selection dialog(there’s FontBucket behind that btw – TamsPalm’s tutorials really do work):
radio1 Using radio buttons as command buttons is a bad idea

So far so good – but figuring this out took me(as a longterm user) ages – in fact, I filed a bug report because of the three points after font. I simply didn’t realize that we were dealing with a command button here – the design/interaction pattern was broken.

Today’s hint is simple – when you need a command button(one that toggles an action), use just that. Don’t abuse any of the other system-provided widgets…your users will love you for it!

Related posts:

  1. PetitLauncher-micro-command line for Palm OS
  2. On Un-Responsive Cancel Buttons
  3. On reusing toolbar buttons
  4. Sleep – turn one of your hardware buttons into a fully functioning power button
  5. On nonstandard UI’s

5 Responses to “Using radio buttons as command buttons is a bad idea”

  1. I saw it too when I tested it this afternoon. But when I saw “Fonts…”, I knew that it would open a dialogue…

  2. Using the ellipses is always a good idea to indicate that tapping that “spot” will produce another form/window.

  3. I agree with Tam. SrcEdit should use a Selector or some other kind of Widget.

  4. This is NOT how it’s supposed to look like when we┬┤re leaving the Beta stage for the next release. It WILL change!

  5. Hi,
    PLEASE DO NOT post the names of negative examples – I don’t give them for a good reason!

    The ellipsis…ok, overlooked that. But as said, IMHO, having a button like i showed in my tutorial is the better choice.

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

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