Inactive Checkboxes are Poor UX

An inactive checkbox is always a bit of a mystery to me.
Why is it inactive? How do I get it to activate so I can select it? More often than not, it takes me a couple of tries fiddling around with other preferences to finally activate the checkbox and be able to select it.
It shouldn’t be that way.

And now I realize I’ve been guilty of having such an inactive checkbox in Yoink‘s preferences myself:

Yoink 3.2 Preferences Inactive CheckboxThe inactive checkbox “Show window near mouse pointer (…)” is inactive and needs extra steps to be activated

It’s exactly what I dislike. What was I thinking?
As a new user who has no idea how these preferences are connected, you just don’t know how to get that checkbox active and, more importantly, how to change the setting available behind the inactive checkbox.
In the worst case, it’d take three steps to activate it. You’d have to:

  1. Select the checkbox “Automatically show when” (if it wasn’t active before)
  2. Change “mouse pointer is at edge of screen” to “drag starts”
  3. and then you’d finally be able to access the newly active checkbox
If I launch Yoink for the first time, I have no idea what’s going on. That’s not a very good user experience.
So with the upcoming update v3.2.1, the checkbox will always be active, and it’s much clearer how these two options are connected:

Yoink 3.2.1 Preferences Active CheckboxIn Yoink v3.2.1, the checkbox is always accessible, eliminating extra steps to be able to select it.

Obviously, not all cases are the same and sometimes, in some places, there might be a good reason to have a checkbox inactive.
But here, it was clearly the wrong choice.

[Update 27.10.2016: I published a follow-up here.]

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