# How to represent repeats?

I'm trying to write a budgeting web-app and wants the user to choose how many times a budget should repeat itself. I have the following options:

I want One-time to mean that the budget only happens once, and that the once option make the budget repeat once (and so actually happens twice) etc. I find this is OK for small numbers, but when you get to the option Ten times, users will think that the budget will happen ten times, when in fact it occurs 11 times.

What is a better way to represent this to make it clear?

• If I read out to you: "repeats one time" and "repeats once", would you think they're any difference? Jan 13, 2014 at 5:54
• It could also be -no repeat -once -twice etc...
– xpy
Jan 13, 2014 at 8:06
• Frankly, your representation of choices is not the most convenient for users. I'd have given the exact same solution as offered by @3nafish especially the one in his comment suggesting "occurs" instead of "repeats". Jan 13, 2014 at 9:53

How about something like this? It removes the confusion between occurring one-time and repeating once by changing the terminology.

Find out how your users think about this. If it's important for them to know the total number of occurrences rather than the total number of repeats, something like the following would probably work better:

Also, it's not clear to me from the above when the repeats should occur, so you'll want to account for that in your design as well.

• Welcome to the site, @dayuloli! I made the assumption that your radio options for twice and ten times were arbitrary numbers. If you know that those will be extraordinarily common choices or that there's some benefit to the user in picking one of those two options, go ahead and include them, but otherwise they should probably be removed. Jan 13, 2014 at 5:13
• I would suggest a further tweak by changing "repeat" to "occurs", with the first radio choice being "once". That way there's no ambiguity over exactly how many occurrences. Jan 13, 2014 at 7:27
• I'd suggest changing "no, yes, yes" to "once, repeat [] times, repeat indefinitely". That way, you could remove the label, and/or users could skim the answers and know what the question was. Jul 23, 2014 at 1:54

If one wants a more advanced option, I'd take a peek at Microsoft Outlook, where you can be pretty specific on what you want. In our organization we have a meeting the third thursday every other month. And it can be accomplished in Outlook, which is very nice. I don't need to calculate which thursday is the right one.

This setup may be overdoing what you try to accomplish, but it's worth considering.

Sorry that my PC uses Swedish date formats...

For a budget app, I believe the users would think in terms of frequency rather than repetitions.

If I were putting some numbers into a budget, I would think:

• "Once a week"
• "Once a month"
• "Once every second month"
• "Every monday and wednesday"
• etc etc
• I agree with you, it should start with rougher terms rather than making it too rigid. Jan 13, 2014 at 12:36