Chris Ashton

dai11y 25/11/2021

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Letting users tick a ‘none’ checkbox

  • A GOV.UK blog post from the Design System team, describing why they’ve added a new feature to the checkboxes component.
  • When answering questions, users can be unsure what to do if none of the options apply to them. Users “want to give a clear answer, especially if they’re concerned about completing an application accurately and truthfully”.
  • Additionally, some users might assume that if they leave the checkboxes unchecked, that the system will return them to the question later, not realising that they’ve actually skipped the question.
  • Some services using the checkboxes component were already adding their own “None” option, which was not ideal as it meant users could provide contradictory answers, such as “None” in addition to other options.
  • Supporting “None” natively in the component meant that the developers were able to add JavaScript to prevent users from ticking the “None” checkbox in addition to other boxes. It also meant they could style the option slightly differently.
  • It is still up to services to decide on the wording of the “None” checkbox. The blog post advises against directions like “None of the above”, as this is a visual reference that makes little sense to screen reader users. “None of these” is better.

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