Pickers are among the strange interfaces in the mobile. There isn’t a specific defined role for them. People use them in very different occasions.
- The most important role of a picker is to facilitate and replace typing act on the keyboard in mobile devices. The small real estate of the mobiles makes it hard for user to type in their input (It is good to know the 40px is the minimum size of a button for typing on iPhone interface).
- Selecting is easier and faster than typing. Specially in the call to action’s page.
- When there are multiple inputs using pickers will let you have different combination choices.
- Make sure to have the size of the picker large enough for fingerprint or gesture touch.
- Can you combine and delete some of them?
- What are the best ways to turn them to a visual selection? Have all possible formats in front of you such as : wheels, drop down, list, push buttons, drag, and more.
Lets review some samples:
Picker can work as drop down or refining the research.
For using date and time, picker is the best choice. Clicking on a drop down or a wheel, both works better than + and – .
Combination of Picker and Key Board Input:
It can be used in many forms, wether user needs to enter a password or any short description.
Avoid typing as much as possible. It is proven that users are looking for an easy and effortless way to answer.
Calendars are one the most common pickers.
There are many different UI designs available for creating a better format of calendar’s picker. Most of them share same feature for next and previous month or selecting a date.
You can be creative in the design of pickers, below is one sample.
It is very visual and concise with the colorful legend.
Please note how selecting multiple dates works together with the related info and compare it with traditional way of having information in different pages.
When there is a range of selections, sliders work the best. Filtered buttons help users in refining the selection.
Picker is your friend. Always ask this question: “Can user select vs. typing? If yes, which format works better?”