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I need to allow users to set the frequency with which they would like for a certain task to occur (example- every X days/week/month/year). So far, what I've come up with is an input box and a drop down to select either Days, weeks, months or years as options. Frequency picker Could this be confusing and are there any better patterns for such cases?

  • Are there any limits, minima & maxima, on what they can set? Also what's the use case for this? – DarrylGodden Jan 14 at 9:03
  • @DarrylGodden There are no limits as such. It's to automate file scraping from another location. The user gets to define if they'd like to scrape files every x interval of days/months (most common cases) or even years. – Ashwin Nepal Jan 14 at 12:28
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Planning of tasks tends to be more contextual than mathematical. What does that mean? It means that you

  • go to soccer practice every Tuesday,
  • pay your rent on the last work day of the month,
  • download that report on every 15th,
  • meet with Jeff on the first Monday of each month
  • check up on aunt Jeannie at least once in a quarter.

In the Gregorian calendar, only the first bullet point is a consistent interval. All other "tasks" depend upon the length of months, placement of calendar weeks, work week definitions, beginning of the week definitions.

What you need to do is to

  • Give a natural language context (for your locale)
  • Take away complexity in the beginning
  • Offer the most popular choices
  • Allow customization down the road

Microsoft, e.g., is doing a good job with this in their Outlook web app. (Even if somewhat inconsistent cross-device)

1. Desktop

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2. Mobile

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Information hierarchy in your case is reversed

You will first have to take make the user select desired interval and then allow the user to input number of days/week/months.

We recently designed a similar control in our product. You can use it for inspiration.

enter image description here

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    Arguably, information hierarchy is just as reversed in natural speech (in English, at least; this must not hold true for all languages). – O. R. Mapper Jan 15 at 10:04
  • "Value" seems unclear to me here. Do you want "Every 30 days" or "the 30th day"? – Tim FitzGerald Jan 15 at 17:13
  • @TimFitzGerald Yes Value in this case will not be clear. Maybe we can write "Enter number of days/weeks/years" in the input as placeholder – Sheraz Jan 16 at 6:30
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I would say that your approach should depend on the tasks your users need to perform. For example:

  • if I want to schedule a meeting which occurs every Monday morning I would want to set a start/end date and frequency
  • if I am a doctor and plan therapy for my patient I would probably prefer to choose the number of occurrences and don't bother about the start/end date.
  • I may want to use a combination of the above

Explore the user flow and what users need to achieve their goals and you will find the answer.

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I Think there should be hierarchy in layout and options should be daily, weekly, monthly as per the below exampleenter image description here

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