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Use Radio Buttons for Exclusive Selections

Document Type: Standard


HHS must provide radio buttons when users need to choose one, and only one, response from a list of mutually exclusive options. HHS must always use at least two radio buttons in connection with each other. A single radio button must not be used to present a lone item.

If users can choose not to activate any of the radio button choices, HHS must provide a selection labeled None. Designers and developers should assign one of the radio button choices as the default, when appropriate.

Since radio buttons require only one choice, make sure that the options are both comprehensive and clearly distinct.

In addition, users should be able to select an option by clicking on either the button itself or its label. By providing users with a larger click zone area that includes both the label and the button, users will be faster at making the selection. This is especially true for older adults.

These are examples of appropriately used radio buttoms.


Radio buttons are a series of on-screen buttons that allow only one selection to be made from a group of options. By following the standards above, radio buttons can be used for optimal user performance.


If a set of mutually-exclusive options are greater than five or more, a drop down box or list box may be used to save space.