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I'm building an app for Smartphone devices where the user needs to input his hours per task (a.k.a timesheet)

Unlike traditional keyboard, I designed an input for hours and minutes as the following diagram.

imagine the minutes input appear as an additional arc above the hours.

what do you think of this type of component, will it be usable ?

remember the user only need to enter the amount of time per task

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I am doubtful of its usability. It has a slight learning curve and is not a common practice to fill in time. What's wrong with simply giving two textfields for filling in hours and minutes? It is simple. It is traditional. It is usable. It saves any extra effort from the user (in a non-core task of just filling in his time). –  Mohit Feb 25 '13 at 7:07
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2 Answers 2

I doubt your design is going to be usable. I see several issues:

  • There is an arbitrary limit to the amount of time you can fill in. I think it will be 12 hours and 59 minutes maximum.
  • The layout of the time over a half circle is unfamiliar. It reminds of a clock face, but it isn't. In the context of time, I expect that to work confusing. Note that a real clock face for an amount of time is also confusing. A clock face is used to tell the current time, not really how much of it has passed.
  • Most importantly: when manipulating the time, your finger will be on top of the time you want to set, thus hiding it from view. That makes manipulating it rather hard. The time widget used in Meego on the Nokia N9 suffered from the same issue. Although it looked nice, they had to resort to an additional display of the set time to make it workable.
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Concerning your issues 1) The amount of time is purposely limited 2) I agree its not familiar, but don't agree its a point for not being usable 3) time is displayed over another box, hence the time chosen will not be hidden. –  AsafBO Feb 25 '13 at 13:20
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Well, your mockup did not show all that. You asked us to give a judgement call on the usability of your design as shown. You may or may not agree with those assessments, but in the end only a decent user test will tell you. If you are comfortable enough with your idea that it warrants building and then testing, then by all means go for it. But please, do test before you introduce it in a real product. –  André Feb 25 '13 at 15:03
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I'd strongly suggest that you stick with the "native" UI, this way the user will see controls she is used to.

On this blog post you can see many examples of html-form fields "type" and the UI the user will see. Same examples are available for android, see this page for android version >= 4.

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