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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 347171, 6 pages
Research Article

Working towards Usable Forms on the Worldwide Web: Optimizing Multiple Selection Interface Elements

Department of Psychology, Center for Cognitive Psychology and Methodology, University of Basel, 4055 Basel, Switzerland

Received 1 November 2010; Accepted 22 March 2011

Academic Editor: Mark Dunlop

Copyright © 2011 Javier A. Bargas-Avila et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


If an interactive form in the worldwide web requires users to select multiple answers from a given list, this can be implemented in several ways. This paper discusses an empirical study with 𝑛 = 1 0 6 participants, where two interface elements for choosing multiple answers (checkboxes and list boxes) were compared. Results showed that participants chose the same amount of options in both conditions but were faster and more satisfied using checkboxes. The time differences disappeared after several trials, revealing a learning effect for the list box element. As a conclusion, it can be recommended that website developers and online researchers should use checkboxes instead of list boxes for their online forms and questionnaires to enhance usability and user satisfaction—at least for a smaller number of options.