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Radio Buttons on a Form Can Help Effectively Utilize Your Space

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The form fields that are selected for each question will determine the quality of a form and the quality of the data you collect in your EHR software. It’s important that you understand each of the different field types to make sure you’re selecting the one that works best for your purposes.

Like the younger sibling who copies everything their older sibling does, radio buttons do what single select drop-downs do. They provide discrete data by having the form user select one option.

The main difference between using radio buttons and using single select drop-downs is that the radio button field displays all the options without any user action.

When deciding whether to use radio buttons, you need to consider if more options will need to be added in the future. If the list you’re working with is one that will continue to grow, eventually the one question could take up the entire screen which isn’t an efficient use of space. Utilizing single select drop-downs will give you the ability to add and subtract options as you please.

Radio buttons are an effective field type, but they’re best used when you know the list of options won’t be changing in the future.

Consider if each option requires a unique explanation, or anchor text that reminds the user what should cause them to select each option. If the list itself is easily understood then a drop-down selection will likely do, but if you want to provide textual reminders for what thought process should draw each conclusion then radio buttons are an excellent way to accomplish that.

Download the eBook Principles of Data Collection to further your knowledge on data collection and form design. 

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