I'm working on UI/UX which has mainly On knobs. I'm thinking to keep alternative for knobs. What are suitable alternative for knobs (Other than sliders).

For example The figure below shows Two knobs Where outer point gives the whole number part (eg- 2) and inner point shows the fraction part (eg- .45) and the output is 2.45

Example Knob

Now I'm thinking the alternate UX instead of Knobs. Please suggest me the tags for this. I'm new bee for this.

Adv Thanks for inputs.

Edit 1:

This is for desktop music app.. Knobs here are used for frequency change,volume control,Format value set, time span (min:1s Max:10s), etc.

And the output is displayed in text box as the knob moves(with mouse/hand(in touch panels))

  • 1
    What is the context? Which action is performed with this interface element? Why is it represented as a knob?
    – Anton T
    Nov 11, 2019 at 9:24

1 Answer 1


In all of the music apps and websites I've ever used, the most pleasant to use component for this scenario has always been the spinner. This is a text box containing the exact value, with increment/decrement buttons next to it.

You could use a slider but this takes up a little more space, and is difficult to provide fine-grained control unless you also include a textbox.

The knobs that you provide as an example don't work in a computer UI. They make sense for a physical interface, where you can use thumb and forefinger to provide both quick and accurate manipulation, but in a computer UI they are awkward, at best, and incredibly frustrating at worst. There's no visual cue as to exactly how to control them - do you click and drag left and right? Up and down? In a circle around the centre of the knob?

  • Could you please attach the image for your answer(already +1 given).And the output is displayed in text box as the knob moves(with mouse/hand(in touch pannes))
    – Ramlal S
    Nov 11, 2019 at 10:02
  • There are definitely applications that make use of knobs. Most that i know off are music applications. VirtualDJ for example, but also Fruity Loops and many of the plugins. Though most of these are trying to replicate real-life hardware (i.e. synthesizer knobs, mixers knobs) so it's not really something uncommon. Then again, these knobs are not really used for precision settings like OP want but rather "it feels right"
    – DennisW
    Nov 11, 2019 at 11:11
  • 1
    compared to a knob, a spinner loses glance information: a knob shows you minimum and maximum values, and where you are relative to it. This information can be critical in applications where you have several common number ranges (eg 0 to 128, -64 tp +63) where "0" can mean "nothing at all" or "right in the middle" Feb 14, 2023 at 13:28

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