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I am designing a web app in which the data is stored in time order. Users can browser different kinds of appointments in daily or weekly calendar view.

When you click on the current date, the overlay gets displayed on top, (hiding the current date).

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The problem with the arrows are, The arrow between "TUE, May 7, 2013" is a toggle for a day jump, Whereas in the arrows between the overlay "May 2013" is a month jump.

The design on the left is a minor tweak of the current design, which it doesn't overlap. The problem I found was that the two sets of arrows function differently, and are visible at the same time. The solution was to display the arrows on top, so there is always only one set of arrows showing at a time.

The second design is a little more tweaked, displaying the arrows in different order/ format (perhaps design too) so that people don't confuse their purposes.

My favorite is the last one - the current date does not have a set of arrows to quickly go to a previous/next time duration. The only way to navigate is through the overlay.

Last, but not least, we have the option to remove the calendar picker tool completely (not shown on wireframe), and users can only navigate using left and right arrows (similar to iOS Calendar or Google Calendar).

What's your opinions on these resolutions?

Do people find left/right arrows more convenient than date picker?

Most users will access the current week's 7 days to do the task on the app, and going back to the previous or next 7 days from the current day is mostly for reference only.

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Can you add the overlay? It is a bit unclear without it. –  rk. Jun 5 '13 at 2:20

2 Answers 2

  • Design #3 offers a cleaner look. I would be interested in seeing the overlay.
  • Design #2 is not intuitive and the arrows feel disconnected.
  • Design #1 feels familiar as most date pickers follow that pattern.

Arrows are an indication to a user that you can move to the next or previous day. Some users like to have an additional option of entering the date and having the visual calendar update accordingly.

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IMO the issue is not the location of the arrows. Most users feel comfortable with such controls.
Also, if the issue was the range difference between jumping one day or one month, then there is an idiom like a single arrowhead > for the smaller jump, and a double one >> for the bigger.
What looks confusing to me is the simultaneous display of two different artifacts, with the same styling.
If you'd integrate the month picker into the month calendar, giving it an appearance related to the day cells, then IMO the confusion would vanish.
Additionally, and depending on the particular usage patterns, it's not nice to have to navigate the months clicking 12 times from January through December. A click on the month name could display the 12 months and a year navigation widget.

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