How I’d like the Outlook calendar to work

Martin Charlier

I often find that things like train timetables, conference agendas and especially calendar applications don’t work towards a kind of personal mental model of time. This sounds deep – but I essentially mean that the way they are laid out or the interaction and manipulation is not intuitive to me.

I notice this everyday when I’m using the calendar in Outlook. Certainly a fair number of people are using it and a lot of work went into every single detail of it. So in order to find out whether it is just me, I want to show you how I would wish it would be and look forward to feedback.

Next and previous page buttons.

Outlook breaks month and week views down into what are practically pages. Navigating in such a month view is, for me, often quite distracting and confusing. Especially when I’m interested in looking at days that happen to be at the end of one and the beginning of another month.

Outlook only displays full months and doesn’t let you center a transition of months on the screen.

Year view

The type of calendar I grew up with.

I often find myself wanting an overview over a couple of months, rather than just one. Outlook doesn’t have such a view. More specifically, when I was in school, there was a standard one page calendar of the school year that was handed out at the beginning of every school year. (Notice how the calendar starts with September and ends with August). These calendars showed the school holidays and were usually used as a countdown-canvas towards them.

Here is a mockup of how I think Outlook could look like in a year view.

A mockup of a year view in Outlook.

Endless scrolling

The pages-like breakdown doesn’t work for me. I would much prefer to be able to fluidly scroll through the view

I imagine such a fluid, endlessly scrollable view like this:

And it should work in all the views. Here is my proposed year view:

I’m very curious to hear feedback and thoughts. Even if they show that I’m by myself with these wishes for Outlook.

Martin Charlier

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