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Currently this website has a list of FooBars, which may be sorted by date:

List of FooBars sorted by date

I am adding functionality to allow a FooBar to be repeated, or a recurring FooBar e.g.

  • Weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Weekdays
  • Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday of each month
  • Monthly on the 11th of each month

This site is not a calendar.

I am guessing I will need just need to add the recurring info to the date field, like so:

Extra recurring info added to the date column

Should I display each instance of the FooBar?

If it repeats on every weekday, would I only show the FooBar under the next weekday, or would I show multiple instances on every single weekday? (this seems like it would get quite spammy).

How would I handle very long descriptions of the recurrence?

"Monthly on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 29th"

I don't imagine this will be very common, but it could happen.

Any great examples of sites already doing something like this?

Edit: I should clarify the site a bit more. An similar example would be a lawn mowing 'craigslist' type service. Someone might post an advert (FooBar) for a one off lawn mow job, or they might post an advert for mowing the lawns every week/month. If a user "buys" the advert, they will be buying all instances of the advert.

So a user might want to be searching for lawn mowing jobs they can do, ordered by date, and want to see adverts for one off jobs, as well as ongoing jobs

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3 Answers 3

I did this once. Instead of this:

"Monthly on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 29th"

I displayed it as this:

"Every month from the 1st -- 11th and 21st -- 25th; also on the 15th and 29th"

I made sure that I used a slightly bigger dash (em dash) to demark ranges, and colors were more prominent than the rest of the text (they were also links.) I had used "to the" instead of a dash but my users tend to skip it and miss the fact it was a range.

In my case the links did something else, but in your case you could show a mini-calendar (hint?) with the selected dates highlighted.

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I would add a Recurrence column. For one off items it would be empty, and for recurring items it would contain one of two types of data. In case the recurrence scheme is typical, e.g. weekdays, monthly etc - that's what you write. In case it's custom, like the "long" example you provided, you say something like "Custom" and provide an "?" icon in the field, which would display the recurrence pattern on hover.

Concerning whether the items should repeat or not - if I can act on one instance of a recurring item, e.g. just the Wednesday instance from a weekday-recurring job, then they should be displayed for each day they occur. If only the entire set is meaningful, then just display the entire set as one item.

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You should display every instance of a repeating FooBar. If a user is ordering by date they probably don't want to just see the date of the first FooBar, but any FooBar on the calendar.

I would say have a "repeating" flag on any repeating FooBar. Clicking on the flag would reveal details about how the event repeats.

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To clarify, this is not a calendar. See my edit for an example. I had considered a flag, but I'm not sure if hiding away the info is the best idea in this case - when the thing repeats is pretty vital. –  elwyn Feb 18 '12 at 5:20
    
Ahh, I see. Perhaps a repeating FooBar should update its "date" to the next upcoming valid date according to its repeating schedule. This way repeating FooBars created a long time ago wouldn't get buried in an "order by date" display. –  DorkRawk Feb 18 '12 at 6:10

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