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I'm working on a simple math app that lets you do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I allow the user to select which operators they want to use and configure the maximum range. I'm trying to figure out the clearest and simplest way to let the user configure the maximum.

I have two examples of what I Have tried below:

enter image description here (I changed the value for subtraction to be the maximum minuend, but this picture is a bit out of date.) I imagine people could find this confusing if they don't know what the term is.

I also tried this: enter image description here Which I like, but I'm not convinced that it's clear. I've thought of improving by making all non-bold text a grey color to really emphasize the number being configured. For add/sub/mult I'm not sure if I should only bold one number or if that would just be confusing. Another idea is to use formula text like so: 10 + _ = ? or ? / 10 = ?

Any ideas on if either of these ways is clearer? Or if there's something different I haven't thought of?

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    I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve here. Is this a control panel for teachers to set task levels for their students? If so, what does the 'maximum' relate to - number of sums? highest possible answer? If it's something more complex and specific to mathematics, you may be better off talking to the sort of people who are likely to use this - you could try over on the mathematics stack exchange site. – Andrew Martin Oct 3 '16 at 10:17
  • Thanks for the idea.. I'll try mathematics to get their take on it. You're right that this is more of a control panel for the teacher/parent to setup and then give to the student. – Sentient Oct 9 '16 at 11:11
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If the purpose of this is to set the difficultly of the app, then I think your approach is somewhat over complicated from a UX point of view. It would be much more friendly to just have the user set one thing. This could be the age of the user or an arbitrary 'level'. Within these levels of difficulty you would then set values for the various variables that you have listed.

You could also set other options within this, such as excluding multiplication and division for the youngest users or ensuring that division questions have a whole number result for less advanced levels or restricting subtraction questions that have a negative result to more advanced users. These options would be in addition to the numbers involved getting bigger as the level increases.

I think the best approach would be to research the expected mathematical skills of children in each school year or by age and then use this as a template for the individual settings for the levels in your app.

You could always add something like the idea that you have expressed in your question as an 'advanced settings' option for users who want more detailed control over the questions that will be generated.

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