My product is a condominium management software/app.

My app will allow condominium management staff enter and display a period of time in which a unit will be empty (i.e. resident of the unit goes on vacation, uses resident as a vacation home, etc.) For example, staff may enter a "vacancy" as March 1, 2019 through March 15, 2019. However, user research tells me that condominium staff will not always know when the return date of a given resident is. For instance, management may notice that a resident is not around or hasn't been around for a couple of days and may want to enter the unit into a 'vacant' estate but doesn't know when the resident will be back. Thus, our app lets this user enter a start date and will not require the user to enter the "end" date. However, I'm unsure how to best display a "n/a end date" in the different areas of our UI where the system would indicate the end date. As an example, see here: https://cldup.com/J_tzuLYg-n.png

I don't necessarily want to display something like "n/a" or "unknown", i.e:

  • March 1, 2019 - n/a
  • March 1, 2019 - date unknown

I would like display something more human and friendly.

Thank you so much and sorry for the lengthy question.


If you don't want to use table with From and Till columns and leaving Till column empty, just skip end date:

  • From February 28, 2019 till May 5, 2019
  • From March 1, 2019
  • From March 1, 2019 till March 12, 2019

Another way is to change the format of the UI when the end date is not defined. Instead of displaying:

March 1, 2019 - N/A

you can have something like:

Starting from March 1, 2019

If you think this may confuse the user, you could easily add an element that clears the confusion when hovered over, like this:

Starting from March 1, 2019 (?)

The vacancy period here is quite hard to define unless you have a start and an end. If there is no end date then it's not a period but a state.

Therefore I suggest splitting the logic here into two parts:

  • Vacant state (on / off)
  • Dates for when state is known

So the dates would be : Vacant from: "" Residents will return: " " (unknown return date).

If the return data is unknown then the UI can include:

  • Vacant from : "--"
  • "Returns dates not known"

I think I might be missing some details but hopefully this helps.


Quick follow up question,

Is not having an end date an exception or is this quite a common thing to happen. If it is an exception then you could work with a checkbox of some sorts where a user can check "no end date yet" instead of having to set a placeholder end date.

You could then show this as follows

Start date: 26/02/3019 - End Date: (insert a button here with a CTA to finish the period)

Below you can find a quick sketch of my idea. Apologies for my sketching skills, they are lacking heavily.

This will make it clear that there is no end date and give the users the option to immediately set an end date if needed/wanted.



A few days ago, I was in a similar dilemma. In such situations, I feel that giving the option to the user to choose if he/she knows and wants to input an end/return date is a good approach.

One way of doing it is by probably providing a checkbox that reads "I know the end/return date" and if it is checked, then show a date input field to capture the end/return date. If the checkbox is left unchecked, then you can omit it.

Hope this helps!

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