Quick way to enter dates - now available for user testing.
News posted by Roey Izhaki 6 years ago
Many of you have requested a quicker way to enter dates. We see such improvement as key to delivering our motto "together we save time".
We have just deployed an experimental feature allowing you to do this. This feature is off by default; see below how to enable it.
But there are a few important notes first:
Start slow, live fast
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe" - Abraham Lincoln.
Between two candidate solutions, we decided to start with the one that:
- Is less intuitive
- Takes more time to learn
- Involves more constraints
- Takes longer to implement
This seemingly ludicrous decision was taken by myself.
The rationale behind it is simple:
- Our expert (frequent/daily) users enter many dates whilst using the app.
- We opted for the method that allow the quickest entry possible, once learnt.
- This is based on the maxim that expert users are usually happy to spend a bit time learning so to gain more time later (whereas new users simply don't want to spend any time learning).
So, in the tradeoff between short-term and long-term usage, we decided to optimise on the latter.
But this still doesn't mean this solution is optimal, that's why we role it out for your impression - we may still provide the other method (which is more straight forward, but slower). We may only offer this method as an opt-in basis (like it is at the moment).
One example for this is the decision to have year entry using two digits - saving the user typing what is nearly always 20 (eg, in 2014). We have decided to keep it this way despite noticing in user testing that users type the leading 20 out of habit.
So, please allow yourself some time to get used to this new feature before providing feedback - we expect everyone to find it hard to use at the beginning.
- We are yet to implement the contextual help that should pop whilst you interact with the field. For time being, the instructions are below.
- Integrating this in all date fields would have taken us some time - so it was only integrated it were it was quick to do so. ie, even when enabled some date fields still use the old method. Invoices is one place where it was integrate.
- We did as much testing as we could, but there might be some issues.
How to enable
This feature is off by default.
To enable it, go to Settings > User setting and then tick Fast entry date fields under experimental features, then click Save.
The field is subdivided to 3 partials:
The field automatically move you to the next, when it makes sense to do so (so entering
9 while on the day partial, automatically moves to the month field):
Regardless of the partial, the following keys apply:
9 will auto-move to the month partial.
9 will auto-move to the year partial.
Following special keys apply:
The year cutoff year is 10 years from today's year. So:
20will result in 2020
27will result in 1927
- You can use the
Backspacekeys to delete the value from the field
- If two date fields are one after the other (eg, date/due), when auto-moved from the first to the second, the date picker blinks.