Am I wrong?

Soldato
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I'm being told to put a question mark icon next to a datepicker calendar icon so users can read the popup on the question mark in order to be told that they can click on the calendar icon to bring up the datepicker. Seriously.

I've not seen a single website do this as it's just common sense. Am I offbase here? Are people really that stupid? (the site is something to do with an airport and would be used after someone has already booked tickets and therefore, already used a datepicker to do so).
 
Associate
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You have to cater for the lowest common denomiator.
Sounds like anyone could be using your site, even those you haven't seen a date picker before. Give them a hand and put it it, it'll take you 2 minutes.
 
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As Blackstar says, I'd just do it. Yes it probably won't be required, but at least if there's any retards using the site, they're catered for.

If you do it using a nice tooltip it shouldn't even affect your design or the workflow too much either.
 

~J~

~J~

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Have to agree with Blackstar_solar, for the sake of 2mins work you're catering for those familiar with date pickers and those who aren't!

*edit*

And why bother will a 'tooltip' as such, just put the decription in the TAG attribute of the image!
 
Soldato
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I still think it's silly (akin to putting one next to the submit button so they know to click it) but you guys are right.

Will use a tooltip (as it looks nicer than the title popups).
Been using qtips for a while now, good little plugin... well, not so little but definitely good.
 
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I'm being told to put a question mark icon next to a datepicker calendar icon so users can read the popup on the question mark in order to be told that they can click on the calendar icon to bring up the datepicker. Seriously.

I've not seen a single website do this as it's just common sense. Am I offbase here? Are people really that stupid? (the site is something to do with an airport and would be used after someone has already booked tickets and therefore, already used a datepicker to do so).

Totally depends on who you're doing the site for imo.

I recently did a site for a local council and every form field had to have a help icon next to it (even name, age etc.). However, say you were doing the same form for say the ocuk website I'm pretty sure all that extra flumpf wouldn't be needed :)
 
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You have to cater for the lowest common denomiator.

This really.

It may sound totally pointless, but if it takes you 5 mins to code and stops the site admin from having to email tennis with somebody who is really does lack on the common sence department, then its worth it.. anything to keep the customer happy.
 
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You have to cater for the lowest common denomiator. [...]
No-one else fancy contending this?

While I agree that, as a designer, you have a responsibility to provide an interface solution that ideally every user will find intuitive [or at least one that's easily learned], I'm also of the opinion that the users themselves have some responsibility for their actions/decisions:

http://unitinteractive.com/blog/2009/05/18/usability-vs-thinkability/

As Trip points out, putting a '?' next to a 'submit' button is rarely - if ever - encountered; users, through experience, know what a 'submit' button does. That particular aspect of web interface 'language' is encountered and learned very early on in website use; so much so that interface designers the world over can say with confidence that a '?' to explain a 'submit' button is redundant.

Extrapolate to the natural conclusion of "catering for the lowest denominator"-based design, and you'll soon realise that having to explain everything is not only unnecessary, but harmful to the overall interface: explanations of hyperlinks?! Isn't that a bit ridiculous? Of course it is, but the principle is exactly the same.

In other words, a designer has to make some assumption that the user has some knowledge, and responsibility for applying that knowledge, when designing.

It's encouraging to see others realising the importance of "don't make me think" interface design, but only Trip fully appreciates the context of the problem here. If it is guaranteed that users encountering this calendar paradigm will have encountered something very similar before, then I think he is right to question the need for further aids.

Additionally, if the calendar paradigm in question is part of a procedure that is less important than, say, booking flights, then maybe further explanation really isn't as vital.

However, I suspect that there's also an element of "I resent the fact that you want to pollute my aesthetically clean, neatly arranged layout that I've sweated blood over". Correct me if I'm wrong, fellow designer ;)

Of course, the only way to truly find out whether a '?' is necessary or not is to test it out, as any responsible design process should.

So to answer your question directly, Trip, you are both wrong and not wrong, like Schrodinger's Cat, until you open the box and test. Which you should have been doing anyway :p
 
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