Re: Radio Button

Subject: Re: Radio Button
From: Kris Olberg <kjolberg -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 1996 06:07:06 -0700

>At 11:29 AM 10/14/96 +-200, you wrote:

>What do you call the round buttons that appear in some GUIs?

They are "radio buttons" as you say. You're right; the metaphor is confusing.

In my user-centric (as opposed to interface-centric) style of writing, I avoid calling them anything. If there are two radio buttons labeled Off and On, I would say, "To turn off sound, select Off." Depending on the complexity of the dialog box, I might also direct the user to the location of the buttons with, "To turn off sound, select Off in the Sound area of the box" or some such thing.

This eliminates the need for the reader to process extra information (i.e., "radio button"), especially since the metaphor is confusing anyway.

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