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Short form and what to use

Select options with very short amount of text


Alternative Future

10:09 am on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hello to the forum,

I have a question regarding usability and design of forms. When having only two options in a drop down list with a very limited amount of real estate available what is the best title to use.

i.e. I have a drop down select box with only two options - Yes & No normally I use the "Please Select" as the title, but on this occasion the real estate I have available is limited and would prefer to use a shorter form of a title, but what?

Question: what do you use when your selection has a very limited amount of text in it, where you also have the requirement for a title of some sort to prompt the user to select at least one?

With thanks in advance,



5:27 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Is a drop-down list really appropriate for a just a few items? Usually it is best to use radio boxes for yes/no type questions, with one set by default. This will make the form more usable (as the options are all visible) and more accessible (as radio selection is much easier than the mouse manipulation required for a drop-down list).

Alternative Future

8:40 am on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi encyclo,

Thanks for your input, I agree with you on this one, and it also says this on Jakob Nielsen's UI guidelines. But keeping with the style of the form's we use it was agreed earlier on in the project lifecycle that we would use selects :( I was thinking on having one of the shorter form options selected by default, but this again shall have to go through the approval board.

Thanks again,



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