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I am working on redesigning the UX for a carbon footprint tracking app. The issue is when it comes to letting users select miles travelled via airplane, car, bicycle etc..with airplanes, the data range can go upto 200K miles a year or even more. The current design has slider to select number which can be really frustrating to users even to get to the nearest range.

I am trying to figure out a way to solve this problem. Now, the exact amount of miles does not need to be known. One option is to use radio buttons and give them a range. Another option is to have something similar to what we learnt during our school days which involved thousands, hundreds, tens places to understand numbers. Is there some live application where one has to enter data in the range of 100K+ which uses innovative UX? Tried looking at radio applications but that doesn't serve the purpose.

Thanks.

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Why not use a text box where you can only input numbers? Sliders tend to get users really stressed, really fast.

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  • Yes I agree with you. But the thing is, people don't always remember the numbers. We are also exploring a couple of options - 1) with both input box + slider 2) radio buttons with range. – Nisha Changrani Oct 27 '20 at 10:54
  • If the numeric value does not have to be 100% exact and you can work with a range, then version 2 would definitely be ideal. If the figure has to be exact, then version 1 is great because it gives the user alternatives. If the slider annoys them then they can always input it directly. Well done! :) – Mihnea Patrascu Oct 27 '20 at 15:34
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Don't make the user input this data, in most cases.

Having users remember, calculate, and enter their mileage is a fairly labor-intensive pattern. When a task becomes a lot of effort, users are less likely to perform it daily. A carbon-tracking app is something that you want them to develop a habit around using, so it needs to be very easy.

Know what apps are great at? Tracking location. An app knows if a user just traveled 8 miles to work - the user just needs to tell the app if it was by car, bus, or bicycle, and let the app do the rest. The app can then learn that the user travels this route every day, and "8 miles each way by bus" becomes the default that the user can change when s/he drives or rides a bike.

Apps can also calculate the distance between airports really well, so tracking flight miles is as easy as confirming the airports that the user flew between.

The app should still allow the user to manually add miles, such as when they forgot their phone or went for a bike ride without it.

For better UX, let the app do as much of this work as possible.

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