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Rearrange voting radio buttons

by FoxtrotUniform (Prior)
on Feb 16, 2003 at 01:11 UTC ( #235650=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I've noticed that a couple of times today (and several times in the past), I've clicked to ++ a node and just as I scrolled down to read the rest of the node (or the rest of the replies) realised that the -- radio button was selected. This is probably a matter of sloppy mousing on my part, but I've heard other people complaining of the same thing. I don't like to think that I've accidentally downvoted nodes that I was trying to upvote, but it's probably happened.

I'd like to see the voting buttons rearranged to put the += 0 button in the middle to reduce the impact of these kinds of mistakes. Thoughts?

--
F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
Found a typo in this node? /msg me
The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by graff (Chancellor) on Feb 16, 2003 at 01:48 UTC
    Putting the "+=0" button in the middle, now that you've mentioned it, seems like a no-brainer -- it's a simple matter of sensible user-interface design, and it's hard to imagine a reason for not doing it. I'm all for it.
Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by Nitrox (Chaplain) on Feb 16, 2003 at 02:30 UTC
    I also agree, matter of fact I tried to upvote your node but accidently clicked the wrong radio button.

    Just kidding. :)

    -Nitrox

Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by bassplayer (Monsignor) on Feb 16, 2003 at 16:03 UTC
    I've noticed my potential vote switching over when I use a wheel mouse to scroll. The radio button is still 'selected' and the wheel switches between values, rather than moving the page up and down. It takes a click into the body of the page to 'switch' away from the radio button. Could this explain anything?

    bassplayer

      Howdy!

      I've noticed a similar behavior. I don't have a mouse wheel, but I use Page Up/Down, and it changes my vote. I think it has to do with the notion on Windoze that controls deserve to get the keyboard focus. Being an unreconstructed Mac user, I expect TAB to cycle among the text fields (possibly to include select lists), but *NEVER* to focus on buttons of any sort.

      yours,
      Michael

Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Feb 18, 2003 at 20:48 UTC

    The best solution would probably be to add <label> tags. That would allow for selecting the intended radio button by clicking on its ++ (or -- or +=0) text, so you could aim much more sloppily.

    Update: wrote and submitted a patch for that.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      In IE (v6.0), the <label> tags make absolutely no difference. However, I assume you tested your assertion in some browser so that they would provide benefit to others.

      Long ago I proposed removing the "butterfly ballot" aspect of the buttons by putting the "++" and "--" labels between the buttons (which also pushes the buttons farther apart which addresses other people's concerns).

      Looking critically at the current display, I find the characters are too small and too low (especially the dashes^Wminus signs) compared to the radio buttons so I'd drop the <font size="1"> and add <tt> which gives you buttons that look a bit like:

      ¤ ++   -- ¤     ¤ +=0

      instead of the current

      ¤ ++ ¤ -- ¤ +=0

      (Using the "currency" symbol, ¤, in place of the radio button that I can't display here.)

      But I know some will find my solution strange looking so perhaps the best consesus we can expect would be to use <label>, a better font, and a bit of spacing so they look about like:

      ¤ ++     ¤ --     ¤ +=0

      I also looked at separators (they just cluttered things up since the labels aren't words) or even

      ( ¤ ++ )     ( ¤ -- )     ( ¤ +=0 )

      but that is probably overkill. (:

      Or also do as requested:

      ¤ ++     ¤ +=0     ¤ --

      at the top of the thread, which leaves them numerically sorted, which I like.

                      - tye
        In IE (v6.0), the <label> tags make absolutely no difference.
        Sigh. Mozilla works correctly. Opera probably does too, but I don't know about that.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

        --¤      ¤ +=0    ¤ ++

        ?

Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by elusion (Curate) on Feb 16, 2003 at 13:39 UTC
    I'd prefer to see them rearranged like so:

    -- o o ++

    with the text on the left and the right and none between the buttons. Then put +=0 off to the right a bit when enabled.

    elusion : http://matt.diephouse.com

        -- o o ++

      ...which is nice and symmetric and all, but makes the problem even worse by reducing separation between the -- and ++ radio button widgets.

      --
      F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
      Found a typo in this node? /msg me
      The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!

        Well why are you clicking the wrong button? It's because the radio's aren't visually distinctive enough, isn't it? Your eyes don't quite catch which one is which because they get lost in the clutter. Or is that just me? If that's the case, I think this would help, because the label sticks out.

        Normally, you put radios each on their own row, so that the buttons don't stand out. Because they're lined up uniformly, you notice the label, because that's different. Same thing with putting the buttons in the middle with the labels on the sides. They'd stick out, because they're different.

        elusion : http://matt.diephouse.com

Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by elusion (Curate) on Feb 17, 2003 at 02:21 UTC
Re: Rearrange voting radio buttons
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Feb 24, 2003 at 22:05 UTC
    As you may notice, ++tye has applied (a severely edited version of) my patch. It really makes for a much more convenient voting experience (pun intended) on my Mozilla setup! Kudos tye for squeezing this into your spare time.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      Howdy!

      Yeah. I thought the voting buttons were a bit different this morning. I like the change very much. ++

      yours,
      Michael

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