Guidelines and checklist for radio buttons (Windows Store apps)

This topic describes best practices for using radio buttons in Windows Store apps using C++, C#, or Visual Basic.

Radio buttons let users select a single option from multiple choices. Each option is represented by one radio button; a user can select only one radio button in a radio button group. A radio button has two states: checked and not checked.

Radio buttons are so called because they function like the channel presets on radios. Follow these guidelines for adding radio buttons to your Windows Store apps using C++, C#, or Visual Basic.

Is this the right control?

Use RadioButton controls to present users with two or more mutually exclusive options, as here.

A group of radio buttons

Don’t use radio buttons if there are only two mutually exclusive options that you can combine into a single checkbox. For example, use a checkbox for "I agree" instead of two radio buttons for "I agree" and "I don't agree."

Two ways of presenting a binary choice

When the user can select multiple options, use a CheckBox or ListBox control instead.

Selecting multiple options with check boxes

Use radio button when you want to draw attention to the selection options by making them all visible. If the default option is recommended for most users in most situations, radio buttons might draw more attention to the options than necessary. If you don't want to call attention to the options or need to save space, use a ComboBox control instead.

For example, use a combo box instead of radio buttons to display available screen resolutions because the user only cares about the current resolution.

Using a drop down list instead of radio buttons

Don't use radio buttons when the options are numbers that have fixed steps, like 10, 20, 30. Use a Slider control instead.

Do's and don'ts

Do Place the radio button's label text after the radio button, not before or above it.
Don't Don't put more than 8 options in a radio button group. Because the screen space used is proportional to the number of options, keep the number of options in a group between 2 and 7. When you need to present more options, use a ComboBox, ListBox, or ListView instead.
Don't put two radio button groups next to each other. When two radio button groups are right next to each other, it's difficult to determine which buttons belong to which group. Use group labels to separate them.


Related topics

Adding ListView and GridView controls
Roadmap for creating apps using C#, C++, or VB