Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Check boxes

Quiz: Is the following box checked, or unchecked?

Well, it does have a check in it... but it is kinda gray... but the whole color scheme is muted...

Correct answer: unchecked.

If you are an Android developer, please do the following.
  1. Get a piece of paper and a pen.
  2. Draw a square on the piece of paper.
  3. Do not draw a check mark in the box.
    Q: Is there a check mark in the box?
    A: No.  That is what we call "unchecked"

You might defend this by arguing that a weak disabled looking check indicates to the user that this is a check box.  But the beauty of a check box is that people are already familiar with them.  Young and old, bright and dumb, everyone has seen a check box on a paper form even if they have never used a computer before.  This is why the desktop UI paradigm is so powerful, because it is familiar to everyone.  Check boxes aren't techie computery things.  So there is no need for extra help here. The gray check is just confusing.

So is this a Samsung-only feature, or an Android feature?  I need to look at someone else's android phone.

1 comment:

  1. Agree 100%. This confused me when I got my Samsung Galaxy S2. In Windows parlance, a greyed out checkbox with a tick means that the feature is enabled but it can't be changed!

    My previous Android phone (Acer) had empty checkboxes so I don't know if this is a Samsung UI quirk.