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I am currently working on the BI app with data reports (that are tied to financial year), and to set up a report, users have to select the time range for the desired data.

The question is, when users select the time range in the date picker, and move on to next steps of setting up the report (and then decide to open the picker again),

  1. do I revert the dates to default (which is two current months) or
  2. leave dates as selected so when users open up the picker again, they see what they have selected previously (could be last year's 3rd quarter, for example)?

If you could add justification to your thoughts, or actual examples from other apps/SaaS, it would really help. Thank you!

Our picker

Our picker

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I would recommend having the selection be preserved.

As you have some predefined durations available in form of button, I assume that the user opens the date picker when the duration is very specific. In that case, the user might want his configurations to be intact, irrespective of number of interactions with the control on the form.

If you revert to default date, the user may get confused as to why his input was not appreciated by the date picker.

  • Hey Warcops, I have a similar idea about this issue. Thanks for coining in the answer! – Zoe K Jan 24 '15 at 18:32
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You should definitely keep the latest selection. Once users get to know the application they will know exactly which report they are going to build. So even if they have to choose the date before the report type they will probably be choosing the dates for the soon to be selected report.

Now, there are many reasons the user might want to open the control again without changing the dates - make sure the selection is correct, expand the selection in only 1 or 2 days, add a month, all of these would require the former selection to remain the same.

One more option to consider is to let the user first select the fields of the report and only then the date range.

Just a general note - changing a user's selection without any notification is very confusing and is definitely bad practice. This can make the user paranoid about the correctness of the report and this is extremely important when it comes to BI systems.

  • Hey Uri, I like your points, they are in tune with my own. I'll keep the selection, and we're gonna track users to see if this case is prevalent indeed. Thanks for your thoughts! – Zoe K Jan 24 '15 at 18:31
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    Hi Zoe, I was glad to hepl. If you liked my answer ill be happy if you checked it as the selected answer for this question. Thanks! – Uri Abramson Jan 24 '15 at 18:54
  • I did like your answer but I think I've already selected "Warcops" comment as an accepted one (him being a new user and needing some support). No offence! I can see you are doing quite nice on your own :-) – Zoe K Jan 24 '15 at 19:28

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