You do a lot of date entry / date selection when choosing criteria or entering fields.

Remember that time is money.  — Benjamin Franklin

Here’s a simple way to speed the process.

Currently you either type directly into a dateEntry field or click on a separate calendar iconbutton in order to invoke the Calendar popup. Each dateEntry field has its own calendar iconbutton.

“Common sense” Shortcuts

Here’s another design approach that takes up less screenspace, is keyboard centric – and might also be simpler and more extensible.

Anticipate the action When you click on or tab into the dateEntry field, the calendar popup immediately opens.

Appropriate defaults The dateEntry field is automatically pre-populated to an appropriate value, depending on the context.

Don’t lose focus The page entry focus remains in the dateField. You can – without mousing around – type seamlessly and directly into the dateField. (The calendar popup might graphically reflect the date you’ve entered from the keyboard, as visual reinforcement)

You can adjust the date incrementally (For example:  Use right and left arrows to move the date forward and backward in time).

The point here is to make the form entry process as quick & seamless as possible – in this case, by integrating keyboard access (It’s faster).

This approach relates to the issues surrounding Keyboard vs Mouse. It also might be considered part of Best Practices.

Value-Added Usability

Filling in a date range is something you do pretty often in a business app – and it’s also usually a pain (especially if you’re using the classic calendar widget). Try this:

Put the most commonly-used ranges into a dropdown listbox.

  • Last week
  • Last 2 weeks
  • Last month

… This will probably take care of most of your workflow needs. Easy to implement. Even easier to use. Still need to use a cumbersome calendar widget? Okay, It should be an option. But don’t force it on us.

© The Communication Studio LLC