Re-designing a GUI for setting properties like frequency channel numbers, I want to let users choose two numbers. The first one ranges from 800 to 805 but the second one ranges from 00 to 99.

channel number field

On the current GUI there are 106 buttons. Was thinking of using a spin button for each range, but now I think that a spin button ranging from 00 to 99 is too annoying to use.

Any other ideas?

(BTW, for context: The GUI is in WindowsForms and the station a mouse-operated Windows 7, used by untrained workers. The field with the channel numbers is used several hundred times a day.)

  • By mouse-operated, do you mean no keyboard?
    – edeverett
    Aug 4 '14 at 15:37
  • Yes. Most stations have no keyboard. Aug 4 '14 at 21:23

Given the fact that the keyboard isn't an option, I would leave all the channels visible as they are now. Hiding them into a scrollable dropdown-menu/spinner will increase the interactions and the time needed to search, find and select a number.

I strongly suggest you to change the layout of the matrix to 10*10 instead of the current 20*5: a layout coherent with the rules of our decimal system would respect and take advantage of the users' mental models. This alone would improve the workflow quite a lot.

I also see that you have a Set button: if this command is very repetitive and gets used hundreds of times during the day, I would make the setting automatic when choosing a frequency to avoid another step and make the workflow smoother.

In any case I would recommend to prototype different versions and to test them with the final users to see which one suits better their needs if you can.


Typing is the fastest way to enter the information.

There is nothing wrong with letting the user type in the values, provided you have appropriate validation on the field.

(If the value being entered was something approximate, I might have suggested a slider, but that would be too fiddly for selecting precise values such as frequencies.)

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