Date and Time picker – Plus minus

It works like this:

  1. After tapping a specified target (usually an touch target showing the time) a time picker dialog appears on top of the current screen, containing at least the time or date that will be set, controls to set the time, and two buttons for confirming and canceling the action. In addition, an am/pm button can be provided to easily switch between am and pm times, i.e. when the clock is set this way.

  2. With the plus and minus controls, the user can set the desired time. Every tap on the control makes the value move up or down one step. By holding the control, the values moves up or down faster.

  3. The value at the top of the box changes according to the value the user sets using the controls.

  4. The user taps the ‘ok’ button to confirm and set the time.

Use when

The Plus minus date and time picker is useful in every situation when the user has to set the time or date. In addition to this way of giving in time or date, you should have the keyboard working. You can also choose to use the wheel for picking date or time, but this one is the less standard date and time picking tool in all Android devices.

The Good

  • Easy to understand how it works, because it has a lot in common with setting digital clocks, to which users are familiar with.

The Bad

  • It's less 'fun' to set the time then using the wheel
  • Depending on the date format, the dialog width changes with the values, causing everything to jump. (moeffju)
  • When increasing values (i.e. pushing the top button) users are likely to hide the value with their fingers (Markus Heckner)
  • Does not work well on large screens (tablets and similar devices) (Copernico Vespucio)


Samsung Galaxy S Calender

1 To create a new event in the calender, the user can pick a date and/or time by tapping a button.

2 Setting a date shows controls for the values day, month and year.

3 Setting a time shows controls for hour and minute. The clock is set here to am/pm, so an extra button is provided for switching between the two.

NS Reisplanner

1 Dutch railways offers an app with travel information. Tapping in the second table on the item displaying the travel time...

2 ... opens the dialog for time input.

One Response to Date and Time picker – Plus minus

  1. chrisse says:

    “When increasing values (i.e. pushing the top button) users are likely to hide the value with their fingers”

    Though this maybe true, but if the dialog is implemented correctly, the title of the AlertDialog should change according to the current value which the user adjusts. So the user can still see the value when using the upper buttons.

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