CAPS LIKE WHOA (jc) wrote in suggestions,

"Other:" text option for check box/radio button/drop-down poll questions

"Other:" text option for check box/radio button/drop-down poll questions

Short, concise description of the idea
Give users the option of adding one or more custom-label "Other:" text input answers to multiple choice questions.

Full description of the idea
I've created many a poll with multiple-choice questions, where I've wanted to give people that well-known "other" option you see in form questionnaires. For example: "What brand of TV do you own? Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Other..."

Currently you have to include a separate text entry question to take in these wide and varied responses, but the problem with that is that the number of responses isn't counted up with the count displayed as part of the poll results. It'd be wonderful if people could tick or otherwise select an "Other..." option and be immediately presented with a text input field, which would turn into a "View Answers" link as normal but be numerically counted along with the other responses to that particular question, percentages and all.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Multiple-choice poll questions can incorporate a vast array of potential differing responses when required.
  • Better statistical analysis: viz. the "My LJ" naming poll in lj_feedback, where hundreds of comments suggested an alternative name which was not offered as a response to the poll question (the average user perceives posting a comment as more hassle than filling out a simple poll).
  • Opens up the possibility to popular text entry responses being turned into a legitimate response to the question after the poll's creation, at the creator's discretion.
  • Makes for a happier and more heard community. Karma, yo.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Potential to confuse the Poll Creator User Interface if implemented in a non-intuitive way.
  • If "Other" text input is handled in an AJAX-like way, might preclude support for some browsers.
  • Potential for abuse in official or otherwise authoritative communities.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • Add a button to every multiple choice question insertion in the Poll Creator interface which people can push if they want to include an "Other" text box.
  • If the button is pushed, populate the question with additional options for the "Other" bit - just the same options you'd find in a Text Entry question, as well as the option to define a custom label in place of the (translateable) "Other:".
Tags: polls, § rejected
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