Parental Control - Time Restrecting

This Screen Represents "Parental Control - Time restricting- in iOS.

It includes:

  • Days selection (Side-tabs).
  • Times Vertical Columns (To select times to restrict the children from playing at this particular hour(s)) - These two columns represent times in AM\PM -.
  • 3 buttons below (Apply to all days, Deselect All, Select All).

    • Q1: Is there's a better way to Organize this mess, for a better usability?
    • Q2: If we stick on the same design, is there a better position\Solution to make the 3 mentioned buttons more usable (easier for the user to see and recognize)?

2 Answers 2


It seems, the conceptual model you provide isn't aligned with user's mental model.

Let's step back from UI to UX. There are research which recommend clear time limitations for parents:

Parents also aware of the daily regime of a child, say, a child have free time somewhere from 2pm to 7pm.

So parent's mental model is probably like: 'Jim can play for 2 hours on his free time, if he wants. He usually have free time from 2pm to 7pm'.

So the mental model looks like pictured:
enter image description here

Providing exact 24h time periods isn't good both to Parent and Child:

  1. Parent needs to set the rules in a rigid way to some exact hours. Hence the complexity of the decision increases as there are too many options.
  2. Child should be awared of complex rules (mental load) and fit his activity into allowed time periods. But children are not so time-oriented like adults. Also the rigid rules make them out of the control. We don't want a child to turn into a robot, right?
  3. There are obvious reason to exclude some time periods from the model: night time is for sleeping only.

The idea of the flexible time periods is implemented in the UI:
enter image description here
Source: Wikipedia

  • Thanks for your reply, This decision will affect other aspects of the game, What if the UI should give the parent the most flexibility choosing allowed playing time, yet looking nice and in a standard way. So time intervals will not help as the are not scalable. what if I wanted to allow a child to play half an hour 6 times a day ?
    – iShaalan
    Jul 13, 2015 at 8:46
  • Thanks for the Clean replay @Alexey. As what mr.iShaalan said. Plus, I've few points regarding your solution: - We don't have any Control over "Limit access duration"; since we are developing a side mobile app and we are limited with the API that we've been given. (Only able to select Days + Hours\day restriction)
    – Howrang
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:06
  • - The Game related to this application is Half MMO and half Educational,and -Point of argument, but I'm just saying it to explain our view- our culture is fine with having the kids play +2 hours if it's something that enhance their knowledge\learning curve(With the organization of breaks)
    – Howrang
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:11
  • @iShaalan there could be a lot of "what if", so it's better to have exact requirements before designing. Jul 13, 2015 at 12:20

A year ago when i was designing an application for time registration and planning, I designed and tested 24 hour selection widget like in below. Instead of select all, deselect all, creating patterns related to the context (day shift, night shift and holiday) worked quite well.

After you select a template, you can change each boxes like toggle button - on duty, work, and can not work.

The hypothesis was " Human generally divides 24 hours into three segment 8 hours sleep, 8 hours work and 8 hours leisure and other."

I personally think that you can also try something like that instead of having too many input boxes which is quite ok with conventional input but not for touch screen.


  • I really liked your answer, So do you suggest not having a list of days where a parent can specify different time slots each day , also how to deal with weekends and so on
    – iShaalan
    Jul 13, 2015 at 8:42
  • Your Answer has hit us with a new Idea "To have something similar to your design" + Having the UI we designed as an Extra Advanced option for the user. Thank you.
    – Howrang
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:16
  • @iShaalan My pleasure, the key point is if you can find patterns like usage and permission in schooldays or holidays, you can use it in your design.
    – Abektes
    Jul 13, 2015 at 10:34

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