The benefit of <choices> or <choicetables> is that the markup is semantic! When you use <choices> or <choicetables>, the machine (and the writer!) understands explicitly what you are talking about.
Decision rule – <choices> or <choicetables> for choices in a DITA task topic
Use <choices> where the customer has reached a decision point and must choose one of the options.
- Example: take Route 66 to Boston or Route 81 to Ithaca.
Use <choicetable> where the customer has different options to get to the same result.
- Example: to save, click CTRL+S or choose File > Save).
What’s wrong with using ordered or unordered lists to indicate choices in a DITA task topic>
Using <ol> or <ul> eliminates semantic markup! Using <choices> or <choicetables> explicitly indicates the kind of juncture the reader has reached — and forces the writer to state if no matter what the choice, the end result will be the same (<choicetable>), or if the choice selected will lead to a different outcome (<choices>).
Ultimately, the reader will have a clearer idea of his or her options when you pick the correct, semantic markup for choices in a DITA task topic.