Need some help with Drop Down values

1 Sep 2008 - 7:23am
5 years ago
4 replies
489 reads
Chauncey Wilson
2007

I think that the addition of a "I don't know" function would depend on
the particular question. If you were asking me "Are you going to
retire at 65?" I could easily see "Yes", "No", and "I don't know"
since I might be considering future economic changes that are not
entirely predictable (I can actually see "I don't know" as being the
most common answer for some age groups). So, I think that a good
answer to your question would require specific knowledge of the
questions.

Chauncey

On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 5:56 AM, सोनल Sonal Nigam <sonal.nigam at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi
>
> I would like to know about the drop down values for the forms that I have
> been creating recently. The values are only Yes and No for the dropdowns
> varying from 5-9 in number in a single form. I just want to know how best it
> is to provide the user with a YES, NO and I don't KNOW as the values for
> dropdown? Any best practices regarding whether the I dont know should or
> should not be provided to the user? Will it confuse them? Assist them?
>
>
>
> The app is a financial application helping user choose the best financial
> product suiting their needs. All comments welcome!!!
>
> Cheers
> Sonal
>

Comments

1 Sep 2008 - 12:07pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Aug 29, 2008, at 5:56 AM, ???? Sonal Nigam wrote:

> I would like to know about the drop down values for the forms that I
> have
> been creating recently. The values are only Yes and No for the
> dropdowns
> varying from 5-9 in number in a single form. I just want to know how
> best it
> is to provide the user with a YES, NO and I don't KNOW as the values
> for
> dropdown? Any best practices regarding whether the I dont know
> should or
> should not be provided to the user? Will it confuse them? Assist them?

Hi Sonal,

In general, if I were designing forms with "Yes", "No," and "I don't
know", I'd probably use radio buttons instead of drop downs.
Ergonomically more efficient and cleaner in the design.

As Chauncey suggested, if you could share some sample questions, it
might be easier to answer your main question.

Jared

1 Sep 2008 - 1:21pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Jared makes a good point. There were actually a few studies comparing
widgets for exclusive choice questions and radio buttons fared well in
that study. So there is a question of efficiency, whether the
question would make sense with an "I don't know", and also how much
space you have (drop-downs take up more space than two or more radio
buttons).

Chauncey

On Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 1:07 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:
>
> On Aug 29, 2008, at 5:56 AM, ???? Sonal Nigam wrote:
>
>> I would like to know about the drop down values for the forms that I have
>> been creating recently. The values are only Yes and No for the dropdowns
>> varying from 5-9 in number in a single form. I just want to know how best
>> it
>> is to provide the user with a YES, NO and I don't KNOW as the values for
>> dropdown? Any best practices regarding whether the I dont know should or
>> should not be provided to the user? Will it confuse them? Assist them?
>
>
> Hi Sonal,
>
> In general, if I were designing forms with "Yes", "No," and "I don't know",
> I'd probably use radio buttons instead of drop downs. Ergonomically more
> efficient and cleaner in the design.
>
> As Chauncey suggested, if you could share some sample questions, it might be
> easier to answer your main question.
>
> Jared
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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>

1 Sep 2008 - 7:43pm
mark ahlenius
2008

Hi,,

What I'd recommend is that these simple answer- binary or ternary type
drop downs be avoided - especially when there is a quantity of them with
identical answers. This of course only applies when the selections are
static choices (not dynamically filled names, etc). Each one causes
more user interaction than just have a set of radio buttons. I prefer to
follow the KISS principle.

best,

'mark

Chauncey Wilson wrote:
> I think that the addition of a "I don't know" function would depend on
> the particular question. If you were asking me "Are you going to
> retire at 65?" I could easily see "Yes", "No", and "I don't know"
> since I might be considering future economic changes that are not
> entirely predictable (I can actually see "I don't know" as being the
> most common answer for some age groups). So, I think that a good
> answer to your question would require specific knowledge of the
> questions.
>
> Chauncey
>
>
>
> On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 5:56 AM, सोनल Sonal Nigam <sonal.nigam at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi
>>
>> I would like to know about the drop down values for the forms that I have
>> been creating recently. The values are only Yes and No for the dropdowns
>> varying from 5-9 in number in a single form. I just want to know how best it
>> is to provide the user with a YES, NO and I don't KNOW as the values for
>> dropdown? Any best practices regarding whether the I dont know should or
>> should not be provided to the user? Will it confuse them? Assist them?
>>
>>
>>
>> The app is a financial application helping user choose the best financial
>> product suiting their needs. All comments welcome!!!
>>
>> Cheers
>> Sonal
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

7 Sep 2008 - 2:47am
Formulate
2007

Hi Sonal

I would agree with the others that when you have so few response
options, radio buttons are preferable over drop downs. This is
because the radio buttons expose the options to the user and require
one less 'click'. The only reason you might choose to use a drop
down regardless is because of limited space.

With regards to the question about whether or not to include a
'don't know' option, Chauncey is spot on. The point is whether
don't know is a valid response for any of your users, given the
question.

I recently wrote an article on chosing response options for closed
questions (i.e. just what you are doing). You might find it useful:

http://formulate.com.au/articles/closed-question-response-categories/

Best,
Jessica Enders
Principal, Formulate Information Design
http://formulate.com.au

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