User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Next to a date/time-picker field, what would a "Now" icon look like? I can't find any good ideas.

The "Now" icon would be alongside a "Today" icon. When clicked, it would populate the field with the current date and time (the today icon would only populate the field with today's date).

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, greenforest, rk., JohnGB Jul 24 '13 at 0:48

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions requesting Icon Suggestions are off topic. While the subject of icons is on topic, there's very little value in soliciting suggestions for a specific icon in a specific context. See this meta post for more information about this topic." – Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, greenforest, rk., JohnGB
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What does your "Today" icon look like? – Andrew Leach Jul 23 '13 at 15:01
I don't have it either as I'm waiting to know what a "Now" icon looks like. But I would imagine "Today" would look like a flip calendar, akin to or – Donald Taylor Jul 23 '13 at 15:11
I'd prefer not to need any text on this icon, but I'm baffled about doing without. – Donald Taylor Jul 23 '13 at 15:12
Per site description, asking about icons is off topic. Check out the help center and tour pages to learn more about getting the most out of this community! – eleanor.mal Jul 23 '13 at 15:38
Too bad. It turned out to be a popular question. At least I got my answer. – Donald Taylor Jul 24 '13 at 17:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

A (dead) simple alternative might be a set of two buttons, one labeled "now" and the other labeled "today". Basic OS generated buttons can be replaced with a fancier button graphic, but the text of the button says it all with no confusion. I think this is good "Don't make me think" design - an icon works well for certain things, but abstract ideas like "now" are hard to capture in a graphic. Icons may leave people confused about their purpose or worst case, unclear that they are interactive. Everybody knows what to do with a button, and they know what "now" and "today" mean without any mental effort.

share|improve this answer

"Now" icon could be clock with small label "Now", "Today" icon - calendar with day of today, but I prefer text-labeled buttons instead icons.

share|improve this answer

The best icons out there for 'today' seem to just be a calandar with the word 'today' inside it. Having both next to each other, and displaying each one in an abstract image, while keeping the difference between the two clear, sounds extremely difficult or unlikely.

I think your best course of action is to simply have two buttons labeled 'today' and 'now'.

share|improve this answer

If your datetime picker has default value as current date and time you can use several metaphors and adapt appropriate icons of them, e.g.:

  • RESET, means Reset Date value to Today and Time value to Now
  • CLEAR, means Clear any editing of Date and Time and return initial Today/Now values
  • SET TO DEFAULT, Set Date and Time values to their defaults - Today and Now

After finding appropriate icon adjust it using calendar as background for date and clock as background for time.

This is not ideal solution but just one more direction of thinking.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.