15 comments

  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 15 days ago

    For example, a common mistake is to use switches for search filters. The filters only apply to the context of search, not to the entire system. Therefore, the proper selection controls to use are checkboxes, not switches.

    There is no native checkbox in iOS. It is UISwitch.

    If a screen requires users to press a button to apply an effect, switches are the wrong controls to use.

    Says who?

    Not sure I can agree with this article.

    11 points
    • anthony thomas, 14 days ago

      Rounded checkboxes.

      Users expect switches to render an immediate effect when they toggle it on. However, the search filter settings don't take effect until after users press the "save" button. If there's a delayed effect due to a separate button, switches are the wrong controls to use. A switch itself is a "button" that activates state. A separate button for the switch isn't necessary.

      Clarified and w/ context.

      1 point
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 14 days ago

        I still don’t agree with that. Switches and checkboxes are effectively identical from a behaviour standpoint. They turn a thing off or on.

        There is no claim that the result will be instant, but realtime feedback is generally preferable for both. There is no claim that the effect is local or global. Both represent state.

        You may need to think a bit deeper about why UISwitch was invented for the original iPhone — it provided a larger hit target to make it easier to tap, and it also introduced an interaction that’s enjoyable for multitouch devices.

        Here’s what the iOS design guidelines have to say:

        A switch is a visual toggle between two mutually exclusive states—on and off.

        Here’s what the Material Design guidelines have to say:

        Switches toggle the state of a single setting on or off. They are the preferred way to adjust settings on mobile.

        To be even more clear, the example on the right below does not follow the iOS guidelines. Guidelines can be broken, but it definitely shouldn’t be presented as the better interface pattern.

        10 points
        • anthony thomas, 14 days ago

          There are claims: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/toggle-switch-guidelines/

          Toggle switches should take immediate effect and should not require the user to click Save or Submit to apply the new state.

          You should probably study more UX and think deeper about how users interpret and perceive controls differently based on context. Just because two different controls have the same function doesn't mean they can be used willy nilly.

          The guidelines you provided do not prove your case that switches and checkboxes can be used interchangeably.

          You're looking at it wrong. There is no "better interface pattern," it's a matter of context and user expectations. Hope you learned something from the article.

          2 points
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 14 days ago

            Your “incorrect” switches for selection image looks like lots of Apple’s UI, across many of their built-in apps. It’s not incorrect at all.

            The guidelines you provided do not prove your case that switches and checkboxes can be used interchangeably.

            iOS has switches. macOS has checkboxes. Platforms have conventions.

            You're looking at it wrong. There is no "better interface pattern," it's a matter of context and user expectations.

            You are recommending people use checkboxes on iOS, but THERE IS NO CHECKBOX UI WIDGET ON iOS.

            Just because two different controls have the same function doesn't mean they can be used willy nilly.

            I agree. THERE IS NO CHECKBOX UI WIDGET ON iOS.

            8 points
  • Steven CavinsSteven Cavins, 15 days ago

    Is there even a native iOS checkbox available?

    5 points
  • Matt KelshMatt Kelsh, 15 days ago

    Ok. Imma stop reading this stuff. It is damaging me.

    4 points
  • Andrew C, 13 days ago

    I’ve done testing w toggle switches and checkboxes. On web people seem to get confused by a toggle switch. I think because it looks like a physical slider and not something you “click”. I’d recommend checkboxes there as a rule of thumb. There’s something weird about “clicking” with a mouse cursor on a toggle switch. It’s big and clunky. In one usability benchmark I conducted years ago many users were trying to hold the toggle and “drag” it over to the right/left. I guess because it has a physical slide thing going on it was inviting that behaviour

    For iPhone the interaction model (touchscreens) I feel the opposite is true. With our big meaty fingers as the tool rather than a mouse cursor a sliding toggle has a more natural feel — direct manipulation of an object w our physical body (I believe this is why iOS recommends it — based on the principle of direct manipulation their system adheres to).

    Good food for thought. Always Be Benchmarkin’.

    2 points
  • Rey AlejandroRey Alejandro, 11 days ago

    good article, a lot of great points, thanks for sharing! In my opinion, users don't really care much about the differences between checkboxes and switches but in most cases, a checkbox is a more intuitive and well-known pattern compared to switches. A few years from now I think switches will mature anyway.

    2 points
  • paavo koyapaavo koya, 13 days ago

    You're getting a lot of pushback for these articles but I completely agree. This sort of technicality is needed for high-complexity apps where the user needs to interpret a lot of controls at once.

    I think a lot of people don't work with high-complexity and thus think it is "nit-picky".

    2 points
  • J L, 15 days ago

    Really great article.

    1 point
  • Aaron Wears Many HatsAaron Wears Many Hats, 11 days ago

    Damn, I wish I had read this before building my latest interface :-/

    0 points
  • Richard Hassen, 10 days ago

    Like many articles that state what you “should” and “should not” do, I’m not sure if I agree with that level of “rule setting”. It’s an interesting thesis though. I totally disagree that people should expect the switch to immediately have a response, it’s a checkbox alternative unless this article changes the convention. Other than that point, I very much appreciate the insights - especially the clarity on the binary choice. We recently ran into that issue and came to the same conclusion there.

    0 points