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Let users select one or more options by using the checkboxes component.

When to use this component

Use the checkboxes component when you need to help users:

  • select multiple options from a list
  • toggle a single option on or off

When not to use this component

Do not use the checkboxes component if users can only choose one option from a selection. In this case, use the radios component.

How it works

Always position checkboxes to the left of their labels. This makes them easier to find, especially for users of screen magnifiers.

Unlike with radios, users can select multiple options from a list of checkboxes. Do not assume that users will know how many options they can select based on the visual difference between radios and checkboxes alone.

If needed, add a hint explaining this, for example, ‘Select all that apply’.

Do not pre-select checkbox options as this makes it more likely that users will:

  • not realise they’ve missed a question
  • submit the wrong answer

Order checkbox options alphabetically by default.

In some cases, it can be helpful to order them from most-to-least common options. For example, you could order options for ‘What is your nationality?’ based on population size.

Group checkboxes together in a <fieldset> with a <legend> that describes them, as shown in the examples on this page. This is usually a question, like ‘How would you like to be contacted?’.

If you’re asking one question on the page

If you’re asking just one question per page as recommended, you can set the contents of the <legend> as the page heading. This is good practice as it means that users of screen readers will only hear the contents once.

You can use the above HTML.

If you’re asking more than one question on the page

If you’re asking more than one question on the page, do not set the contents of the <legend> as the page heading. Read more about asking multiple questions on question pages.

Checkbox items with hints

You can add hints to checkbox items to provide additional information about the options.

Add an option for ‘none’

When ‘none’ would be a valid answer, give users the option to check a box to say none of the other options apply to them — without this option, users would have to leave all of the boxes unchecked. Giving users this option also makes sure they do not skip the question by accident.

Remember to start by asking one question per page. You might be able to remove the need for a ‘none’ option by asking the user a better question or filtering them out with a ‘filter question’ beforehand.

Show the ‘none’ option last. Separate it from the other options using a divider. The text is usually the word ‘ή’.

Write a label that repeats the key part of the question.

For example, for the question ‘Θα ταξιδέψετε σε κάποια από αυτές τις χώρες;’, say ‘Όχι, δεν θα ταξιδέψω σε καμία από αυτές τις χώρες’

To enable some JavaScript that unchecks all other checkboxes when the user clicks ‘None’, add the exclusive behaviour to the ‘none’ checkbox.

If JavaScript is unavailable, and a user selects both the ‘none’ checkbox and another checkbox, display an error message.

Error messages

Error messages should be styled like this:

Make sure errors follow the guidance in error message and have specific error messages for specific error states.

You can ask the user a related question when they select a particular checkbox, so they only see the question when it’s relevant to them.

This might make 2 related questions easier to answer by grouping them on the same page. For example, you could reveal a phone number input when the user selects the ‘Contact me by phone’ option.

Keep it simple. If the related question is complicated or has more than one part, show it on the next page in the process instead.

You should only conditionally reveal questions - do not show or hide anything that is not a question.

If nothing is selected and the question has options in it

Say ‘Επιλέξτε αν [οι επιλογές]’.

For example, ‘Επιλέξτε αν θα ταξιδέψετε στην Αγγλία ή στην Γαλλία'.

If nothing is selected and the question does not have options in it

Say Επιλέξτε [τις επιλογές]’.

For example, ‘Επιλέξτε μία ή περισότερες χώρες’.

If users check both a ‘none’ checkbox and another checkbox

Say ‘Επιλέξτε [τις επιλογές] ή επιλέξτε "Όχι, δεν θα ταξιδέψω σε καμία από αυτές τις χώρες"’.

For example, ‘Επιλέξτε μία ή παραπάνω χώρες ή επιλέξτε "Όχι, δεν θα ταξιδέψω σε καμία από αυτές τις χώρες"’.