Why You Should Stop Using Radio Buttons for Scaled Items

You’re probably used to displaying radio buttons in a list format. However, list formats aren’t optimal for scaled items and can slow users down.

Scaled items are items that can be quantified or measured on a scale. When they’re in a list format, users need to read each item and think about how they relate to the other items. It’s harder for them to quantify an item’s value, which increases their cognitive load.

You can reduce their cognitive load by displaying these scaled items in a scaled format. A scaled format gives them a better grasp of each item’s value at a glance.

In the example, the radio button items are hard to process because they’re in a list format. But by using numeric sliders to represent those items instead, they’re now in a scaled format that’s easier to process. Users can perceive each item’s value at a glance. They can look at the 1-5 scale and make a selection without mentally processing each item. It’s as if the entire scale becomes a single unified item.

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