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I'm designing an app which will allow a user to both schedule playlists at different times of the day and override that schedule to play a playlist. How do I communicate to the user that playing a playlist will override their current schedule and how do I allow them to switch back to schedule mode?

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I have already implemented a gcal like calendar for scheduling playlists. However on another screen I have a list of playlists with a play button next to each and I think that people don't understand that playing that playlist would override the currently scheduled playlist. –  Steve Moser Sep 11 '12 at 13:07
    
What happens at the end of a playlist? Does it revert to the schedule automatically? –  Matt Obee Sep 11 '12 at 13:12
    
Not currently but I was thinking of offering choices upon press of the play button. Something like 1 hour, 3 hours, or indefinitely. –  Steve Moser Sep 11 '12 at 13:20
    
And does the app give any visual indication when it's playing something that was scheduled versus playing something that was not scheduled? I.e. could I tell the difference by glancing at the interface? –  Matt Obee Sep 11 '12 at 13:28
    
@MattObee not currently –  Steve Moser Sep 11 '12 at 14:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would give them a choice when they try to start a playlist that will interfere with their schedule.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

I might be tempted to show which playlist(s) are affected, depending on how much information you want them to have.

As for "how do I allow them to switch back to schedule mode?", that's a little difficult to answer without seeing the rest of the interface. I do certainly think it's important that, whether the current playlist is scheduled or started manually, the user can tell the difference.

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I guess a playlist is a fixed-length event in a calendar-like something, even if more precise than calendar events usually are.

enter image description here

done using the fullcalendar jQuery plugin

I don't see why you need modality here, it looks more like a list-detail issue to me.

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Sorry my question had a typo in it. See my edit to my question. –  Steve Moser Sep 11 '12 at 13:06

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