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Guy Noda-Bailey
Guy Noda-Bailey
18,837 Points

iOS date pickers and click wheel UI's

Does anyone know why the date pickers in iOs have become such a popular UI design?

I understand that they ensure the correct data format for an input but I have consistently found the user experience confounding.

As an example; my birthday is in December, 1975. Any time I have to input my birthday I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the months' spinner, then spin to the day, then spinning through a list of years from present year (I wasn't born this year) to find my birth year almost forty items down the list, I inevitably scroll past it a couple of times before getting into the right ball park and then have to perform a kind of (admittedly easy) safe-cracking maneuver to get it right.

I have never come across a situation where the date picker is faster/easier than it would be for me to simply press the numbers on a standard telephone keypad. In my regional settings (Japanese) my birthday would simply be eight keystrokes; 19751206 - taking mere seconds to type on a keypad.

So why have the safe-cracking style date pickers become so popular?

Are there accessibility issues I haven't thought of? Am I in the 'old guy' minority of someone who has grown up with the keypad? Or is it something else I haven't thought of?

I'd love anyone's input (unintentional pun) on this taxing first world problem.