I've got a edit form in which the user can change a number of properties from an item. In certain conditions, there is an optional time field which the user can set. But it cannot be set to an actual value in the UI, the user can only specify that it must be set to 'Now' (a backend then later in the process will determine what 'Now' actually is with margins and so).

I am looking for a good design for this. Of course I can use a checkbox with "Use current time" or something, but that looks weird in this case.

What I've come up with is this: (real form and design is very different and specific, mockup just to show the idea): Mockup with now button The optional field here is 'Due time'. When it's present and has no value, the 'Due time' header is shown with a grey 'Unknown' value below. A 'Now' button can be pressed and that changes the value to 'Now' after which the button disappears. User can Update the rest of the item or Cancel it by using the form buttons. We've got a Now/Clock icon and button in some other places in our app, so that might be familiar to the user.

What do you guys think? Is this a weird interaction? If don't think I see this much so I am doubting.

  • 1
    Why does the "now" button disappear? How to undo it?
    – jazZRo
    Feb 26, 2021 at 13:41
  • 1
    With this design, the only way to “undo” it is to not save it. I.e. by using the cancel button. Perhaps not to great, but in the original UI (we are building a new one), the only way to set this Due time is to right-click on the item somewhere in a list and selecting “Set due time to now” in a context menu. That sets it without any edit form at all. Since it’s an option that is not frequently used, I do not like to put it in a context menu.
    – Stiggy
    Feb 26, 2021 at 14:01
  • Yes but why is it designed this way?
    – jazZRo
    Feb 26, 2021 at 14:04
  • 1
    Isn't it possible to design it as a 'toggle' so you either make it set to 'Now' or 'Default' (whatever the default behaviour/data is)?
    – Michael Lai
    Mar 2, 2021 at 0:42
  • 1
    Thought about a toggle or checkbox, but that’s not really appropriate. That would indicate a choice between 2 discrete and existing values and its not. It’s e ither “no value known” or a time stamp (set to the time of ‘now’ when the form is saved)
    – Stiggy
    Mar 2, 2021 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


This solved probably the best way in popular taxi and food delivery applications, which frequently imply such an option.

The control can be a link or a button instead of a calendar image. Especially in this case, when the actual time cannot be picked, e.g.:

enter image description here

Once pressed, a radio-button selection can be shown, e.g.:

enter image description here

Without the option to select the actual time, of course. Just now or not specified.

  • Thanks for the suggestion! Solved it a bit differently as described in my answer.
    – Stiggy
    Apr 4, 2021 at 11:30

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