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Calendar UI needs big improvement

asked 2014-07-01 00:30:01 +0300

chinauser gravatar image

updated 2014-11-14 08:37:12 +0300

I love my jolla, however I've been bothered by the default Jolla calendar app. The N9 calendar is one of the best I've used and Jolla could get inspiration from it.

The things that could be improved in Jolla calendar:

  • On top of the monthly calendar view, show the year, the month and the weekdays by default. Now i never know which month & year I am looking at and I can't see the weekday. Worst of all, I can't see the year! If you flip months to the next year, you have no way to know which year you're looking at. I shouldn't need to pull down to retrieve basic information like weekdays. I'm perfectly OK to peek to view the week number though because it's not key information.

  • Enable more views, like weekly view and daily view to easily see the potential meeting overlaps.

  • Reduce the font for the listed meetings below the monthly view. in that way, you can fit more events without scrolling and can fit the must-have month/year/weekday information.

If the Jolla community is targeting the mass market users, we need to serve normal (i.e. non-geek) users. My wife, a "normal" user, said when she saw the calendar app: "iIt's pretty much useless calendar if you can't see the weekday and month/year by default". Jolla needs to reach mass market and the community needs to make sure those users are served with their basic needs. These recommendations are super simple to implement, let's do it asap. How about opening up the source code of the calendar for the community to work on it?

PS: I have edited this post.

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Sorry, but you completely misunderstood how this "do not display data you do not need at all times always but make it available by peaking" works - it is an UI design feature the whole OS has such "peak" features hidden. Just with the last release Jolla broke that for displaying the date on the lock-screen... it was a 2mm pull on the display away and people still want to destroy this lovely feature. I agree that the calendar needs improvements but this is not one of it!

chemist ( 2014-07-01 00:46:25 +0300 )edit

@chinauser, some of your wishes have been requested earlier in

@chemist, some of us don't think that requiring a gesture to see information that can very well fit on the screen without even making it cluttered is a "lovely feature". :) Glad to finally have the date on the lock screen!

My physical wall calendar shows the month without me having to touch and drag it, and I think that's a good thing. Same goes for the app. I guess you could put everything behind gestures and have beautiful minimalistic screens, but elegance is one thing and usability is another. Opinions, I know.

ssahla ( 2014-07-01 01:22:09 +0300 )edit

Now this ui concept forces on user an interaction with the ui, while historically the good oldfashioned eyeballs roll would have been enough.

It is justified for some data though, like week numbers.

I edited my post.

veeall ( 2014-07-01 01:34:35 +0300 )edit

Month name, and possibly weekdays, are definitely needed information in a calendar. I have not seen calendars without month names before. Even if the UI principle is to hide unnecessary information, it does not apply here, since the information is necessary.

vvvv ( 2014-07-02 17:06:40 +0300 )edit

I'd love to be able to down-vote comments right now... so once flicked you know where your week starts, if you are not knowing which month it is or what you had for breakfast - that is called alzheimer. I can understand that people do not remember the weekday's-order even after having a peak but seriously? you are interacting with a touchscreen-smartphone with a tiny screen not a 40" 4k desktop where I have a full tasklist displayed with full length DOW on each date (annoying, isn't it?)! move your finger to the screen and pull those 2mm... I'd rather have the font-size increased or some other functionality added like colours or icons to waste the screen but things that do not change can stay hidden (remember, put you finger down on the screen and move it 2mm) - I think someone should port or develop an "everything" visible UI so you guys get your everything and we can have our simplicity, deal?

chemist ( 2014-07-03 02:05:26 +0300 )edit

10 Answers

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answered 2014-07-09 21:33:34 +0300

ssahla gravatar image

updated 2014-07-11 00:37:52 +0300

Here's a rough mockup of what the calendar main view could look like with

  • weekdays
  • week numbers
  • year
  • day and month always visible, with "today", "yesterday", "tomorrow" added when applicable
  • ongoing week highlighted (to help you find today)

And the present view for comparison.

Weekdays and week numbers could be optional, so those who prefer to have them hidden could have them like they are now.

In my opinion, this would be no less elegant and clear than now, but easier to read and use. But I'm not saying this would be the ideal way to do this, just wanted to test what the view would look like with these additions.

image description image description

Edit: Added a hairline to separate the weekend. This line (or something similar) would make it quicker to identify the days of week and would (for me) be enough, with no need for weekday titles on top; still, there should be an option to have them visible too.

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I'd say, move the year to the right, thus: "Today, 16 July 2014". Other than that, I agree, this is a considerable improvement.

Fuzzillogic ( 2014-07-09 21:44:58 +0300 )edit

On top center, just put the month and year. On both sides of the month/year, just place 1 arrow to show we need to swipe to access the next/previous month. Then, right below the month/year, place weekdays. Basically, just check the N9 calendar for reference. Nokia designed the UI almost perfectly there.

chinauser ( 2014-07-09 22:22:22 +0300 )edit

oh... and I'd keep the peek view for the week number. Alternatively, it could be selected as an option to be always displayed.

chinauser ( 2014-07-09 22:23:08 +0300 )edit

@chinauser, thanks for your comments, but I have no need to recreate the N9 calendar in Sailfish style – if that indeed is the ideal UI, then I'll just leave that to Jolla. :) I just took the calendar as it is now and tested what could be done with small changes.

I like to have week numbers visible, but like I said, that could be optional – I know that all people don't need them.

ssahla ( 2014-07-09 22:51:32 +0300 )edit

@ssahla whatever can be done easily is already warmly welcome. Thanks!

chinauser ( 2014-07-10 00:34:59 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-07-09 22:08:13 +0300

vattuvarg gravatar image

When viewing the alarms in the clock app there is a tiny gap that separates Saturday and Sunday from the weekdays (my week starts with Monday). The same gap could be shown in the monthly view. That would make the weekdays more visible, imho.

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I agree that spacing or some other subtle way of separating the weekend would be enough.

ssahla ( 2014-07-09 22:19:55 +0300 )edit

In the N9, the weekend days are with a different color. This little trick makes it easier to identify the weekend.

chinauser ( 2014-07-09 22:24:32 +0300 )edit

With the use of spacing the colours are freed to signify something else.

vattuvarg ( 2014-07-12 00:53:30 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-10-31 16:58:10 +0300

Lusk gravatar image

i miss a better event reminder option. you can choose between several reminder times but it is not possible to choose a custom reminder time. if i have a meeting at lets say 8:00 it is not possible to get a notification the evening before, but this is very important for me

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answered 2015-08-19 14:27:53 +0300

zackbuffo gravatar image

updated 2015-08-19 14:28:58 +0300

I know that it's not the most appreciated move, to propose something like "do it like app XY", but in that case I will. It's because I'm really looking forward to see a mature Jolla calender app and because the featured app has a lot of good UI pieces to pick for further development:

Have a look at aCalender's UI.

I know, I could use this one, as it is an Android app, but me personally I prefer to use native Jolla apps. So here is my "first-next-steps-request" in short (which might be mentinoned before):

  1. Have a seperate view for month, week and day
  2. Use complete display to show each view
  3. Show daily information (in a compact form where necessary) in every view
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I´ve tried out aCalendar, but unfortunately it doesn´t work, because I wasn´t able to make aCalendar synchronize with caldav accounts on Jolla and birthdays in contacts app.

silta ( 2015-08-19 15:32:12 +0300 )edit

I know, aCalendar is actually tied to Google calendar - as far as I know. That's another reason, why I don't use it on my Jolla phone.

My recomendation mainly refers to its UI.

zackbuffo ( 2015-08-19 15:38:22 +0300 )edit

In case of aCalendar at an android phone I can say that it is also compatible with others than Google calendar. On my old HTC it worked with caldav on fruux and via birdiesync and usb with thunderbirds calendar on my pc. Apart from this I agree with you, that aCalendars UI offers some features I would love to see in my Jolla calendar app :-)

silta ( 2015-08-19 15:58:04 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-08-19 20:00:49 +0300

M.Bln. gravatar image

I totally agree!

Below the text from my own request (which duplicates yours and is closed therefore) here...

Please show always weekdays on top or at least weekday indication (let's assume Sa/Su as last days a week, or make it configurable) with coloured background for the last two weekdays.

Also show always month name and week number even if it is very small. Put always as much information as possible on the screen. I requested this general behaviour already here...

Thank you.

Some good guidelines for interface design you can find here...

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answered 2014-07-11 13:52:12 +0300

kt gravatar image

updated 2014-07-11 13:55:08 +0300

There should be clear and simple guidelines for using peeking and/or pulling to show more information. One basic thing is to use common metaphors to determine what should be visible without peeking or pulling.

Year, day of week and number of week are really basic features of a calendar and should be visible all the time.

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answered 2014-11-05 10:47:59 +0300

FloR707 gravatar image

I think setting the time is still a mess. Especially when you add something after 10pm or want an event to end at midnight.

  • The time picker for the start time could also have a slider or combo box to set the duration.
  • The start time should not be automatically at the next full hour.
  • It should be possible to set an end time to 12pm.
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I understood the issue of jumping to the time around midnight is supposed to be fixed in 1.1..39 version., isn't it?

chinauser ( 2014-11-05 11:09:03 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-07-12 01:05:10 +0300

vattuvarg gravatar image

The months are shown with one week per line. It would be nice to be able to show a more detailed view by using a zoom-in two-finger gesture.

The other weeks would still be just one line, as in an outliner, but the expanded week could show columns of hours for each day.

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I hate to admit it but many users concede that the Microsoft calendar used in Office/Outlook/Mail got it mostly right and gives an idea of how it can be does in a user friendly fashion.

mariner ( 2014-11-23 11:50:40 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-07-12 01:08:48 +0300

vattuvarg gravatar image

The next month is to the right of the present one. It would be more logical to have it below.

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This is something that I disliked with iOS 7. It makes sense I that you get a continuously scroll, but when you switch days and weeks horizontal, switching months (and years) vertical is unlogical imo. Maybe it's because I'm used to the old way and will adapt (though I regularly using the calendar in iOS 7 and still haven't gotten in to it), but I don't think mixing element behaviors in the same application is good. If you want to scroll in time it should be consistent through the application.

Mohjive ( 2014-07-12 10:32:50 +0300 )edit

Eloquently put, but the direction of months, weeks, days and hours is still just a matter of taste. I would be perfectly happy if I could get a zoomable line instead. The weeks of summer to plan my chopped-up holidays. Just the weekend when my brother gets married and my fiancee comes here by plane. The complications of the 12 days of christmas. Sometimes the default boundaries simply suck.

vattuvarg ( 2014-07-12 20:12:49 +0300 )edit

The Calendar month layout resembles the traditional wall calendar: days side by side, weeks on top of each other, and months on different pages. Following this metaphor, it would be natural to switch days horizontally and months vertically (because you turn the page up when changing to the next month). Still, I find it more natural that the next month is on the right. Maybe it's because in computer UIs "next" is more often right than down.

Of course we don't need to stick to the wall calendar metaphor and model the UI after that. But even without skeuomorphism, I think that kind of metaphors are where the notions of "natural" directions come for many users. But like @vattuvarg said, it's a matter of taste... is time flowing vertically or horizontally? Or in a cycle? :)

But @vattuvarg, that kind of zoom, with the level of details adapting to the zoom level, would be great!

ssahla ( 2014-07-12 23:47:40 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-06-05 13:24:19 +0300

palikao gravatar image

updated 2016-06-05 13:25:25 +0300

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Asked: 2014-07-01 00:30:01 +0300

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Last updated: Jun 05 '16