by anthony on 10/07/10 at 8:48 pm
Checkboxes and radio buttons often get ignored by designers because they’re not used as often on forms as text fields. They may look small, but they can pack a strong punch when it comes to form questions. That’s why it’s important to make your checkboxes and radio buttons easy to use with hover effects.
The problem with check boxes and radio buttons is that they have small click targets. To activate them, the user has to click a tiny square or circle. Sometimes there’s an option to click the label. However, that option is not always available on all forms. But when it is available, that option is never clear and intuitive to the user. Making the label clickable does make their click targets bigger, but there is still a lack of clarity in its affordance.
Displaying a hover effect when users move their mouse over a checkbox or radio button can create a stronger and more intuitive affordance for users. The hover effect visually tells users that the label is a clickable target. When they see the hover effect, it prepares them to click the label.
Adding a hover effect to your checkboxes and radio buttons solves the problem of small click targets. By letting users know that they can click the label, you save users time and energy when they’re using your application. The big things may get most of our attention, but in this case, it’s the little things that count.