W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > February 2007

RE: checkbox labels

From: Klotz, Leigh <Leigh.Klotz@xerox.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 12:32:25 -0800
Message-ID: <E254B0A7E0268949ABFE5EA97B7D0CF402C0897B@usa7061ms01.na.xerox.net>
To: <Kirk.Johnson@zootweb.com>, "Aaron Reed" <aaronr@us.ibm.com>
Cc: <www-forms@w3.org>, <www-forms-request@w3.org>

Control is what's important; ideally it should be done through CSS or
through influence of the host language (HTML in this case).
Some XForms processors extend the appearance hint attribute to make it
easier.

Take a look at http://www.google.com/advanced_search for a design
example.

I count 9 short typein input fields; in 7 of them the labels are on the
left, and they are block style, column aligned.

In 2, the controls are inline, and I would suspect the labels would be
styled with no display in a desktop browser but with descriptive labels
which would be styled to show in other CSS media (screen reader, audio,
etc.)

In 1 ("domain") the label includes other form controls, and is on the
left. (I think this answers recent questions about allowing form
controls in labels!)

There are 7 selection (menu/pulldown) fields, and in 4 of them, the
labels are on the left.
One of those includes a nested selection field, which itself has no
label.
The other two are label-free (self-describing in the choice labels).
Presumably again, they would have real labels for accessibility but they
just wouldn't show on the desktop.

There is one selection styled as a radio button.  Its label is on the
left, and its hint is inline on the right.


I think a good challenege to XForms+host language vendors would be to
reproduce a page like this, tastefully.

Leigh.

 

-----Original Message-----
From: www-forms-request@w3.org [mailto:www-forms-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Kirk.Johnson@zootweb.com
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 9:39 AM
To: Aaron Reed
Cc: www-forms@w3.org; www-forms-request@w3.org
Subject: Re: checkbox labels


www-forms-request@w3.org wrote on 01/31/2007 02:49:55 PM:

> I noticed that every xforms processor that I tried put the labels for 
> boolean inputs (usually rendered as checkboxes) to the left of the 
> checkbox even though the overwhelming preference for html forms is to 
> have the label on the right of a checkbox.

I think "overwhelming preference" understates the prevalence of this 
design rule. I don't have a single piece of software on my computer
where 
the labels are anywhere but to the right of a boolean control. Not one.

I have yet to get my feet wet with XForms, so there is no point in
trying 
to hide my ignorance when I ask: Are you serious? The labels are being 
placed to the left?

I am not aware of a single usability design reference that departs from 
the "on the right" guideline. If the current "XForms way" is to put the 
labels on the left, I respectfully suggest it is time to get someone
with 
usability design skills involved in XForms and reconsider this.

Kirk
Received on Thursday, 1 February 2007 20:40:34 GMT

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