It's college basketball tournament time in America, and millions of sports fans are taking their best shot at predicting the winners.
I took some time to look at a few online bracket contests. Not that I'm a sports fan in any way; I was mostly interested in how various sports news sites presented a means for user-submitted brackets. Some highlights:
noscript message). Otherwise, it's nice and clean.
Method: HTML drop-down
select boxes. Users choose the team that sits in a particular slot on the bracket (a subtle difference from the previous two examples). The four regions are split across four pages.
Method: Flash. Users can either click on a team to advance it, or drag a team as far as they think it should advance. The four regions appear on four different areas of the screen in the same Flash interface.
Comments: Beautifully done and a joy to use -- if you have Flash. The drag-a-team feature is brilliant; it meets the needs of backward-users and forward-users. The clicking of team names is straightforward and didn't make me double-take (as SI.com's blue underlined links did).
Method: HTML radio buttons. All four regions are on the same page; each round gets a separate page.
Comments: Those radio buttons are awfully hard to pinpoint with a mouse cursor. This'd be a good deal easier if the team names were marked up with the
label tag, which extends the clickable area of the form element to include the text. But the usual advantages of standard Web forms apply: It works for all users, and the choices stick around after a click of the Back button.
Final comment: My own bracket