Tag Archives: minutia

The Data of Dates

I’ve blogged before about how I think calendars are to dates what pie charts are to numbers, but recently I’ve been thinking a bit more about this issue.

The background to this was a discussion I had several months ago around the pros and cons of using calendars for date range selection, for example in booking a hotel. As with many design issues, this is one heavily encrusted with tradition and gripped by the dead hand of the “design pattern.” In an attempt to think about it more effectively, I cast the calendar (in the context of date range selection) as an anti-pattern: wasting space; requiring you to interact in more than one dimension; an inappropriate emphasis on days of the week, and other problems. In response, I came up with the idea of a time line instead. That too had flaws (not least because my initial approach attempted to build in too much into a single UI), but I think it had legs.

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