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Age Indicator

Last Updated
7/12/2021
Category
Sync & Status
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The Design Problem

In a local-first world, peers may or may not be connected at all times, and information left by the users could be out-of-date.

The Design Solution

Give a visual indication for the age of a piece of information, for example when a peer was last seen. Fading a tag or a card usually works.

Examples

Why Choose Age Indicator?

Age indicator shows you information about participants without taking up too much space. It comes in handy to distinguish if information is viral or stale.

Best Practice: How to Implement Age Indicator

  • Age Indicator is most effective when it comes to time sensitive information, like a ‘best-before-date’ feature. It highlights when something needs to be checked for validity. As such, it enables an assertion of truth as information gets referenced over time.
  • Make sure context is always clear.
  • Use Age Indicator in combination with a network health indicator to give advanced users more fine-grained detail.

Potential Problems with Age Indicator

  • Dimensions. When there are multiple dimensions of ways information could age, it can be difficult to know what is being displayed. Is it when a peer was last seen? The last time this file was updated? Use age indicator coupled with clear visual cues about what about that information has aged.
  • Contrast. Ensure you pick a color contrast that allows for fading.
  • Action. A single visual indication is not enough to accommodate both spectrums of the ‘aging’ quality: Is it becoming irrelevant and out-of-date? Or has it become more valuable with the increased engagement over the course of time? Consider recommending an action (if any) that could be taken based upon the age of the content.

The Take-Away

Age indicator helps guide users when the age of content affects how a user should interact with it.