I am working on a device which allows the user to set a certain variable value. So instead of turning something on or off, the user can set a value at some point on a continuum. For example, suppose I have a microcontroller that blinks an LED every x number of seconds. The user can select any value between 1 and 10 seconds, simply by turning a knob of some sort. The microcontroller would interpret the 'position' of the knob, and accordingly set a value for the delay.
So I looked around at electronics I own which posses a similar capability (things like radios, speakers, fans, etc.). I noticed that some of them use what I now know as a potentiometer. Sorry if this is really beginner level stuff. I know I can use the potentiometer to retrieve an analog value, and I can confirm that this satisfies my objective perfectly.
So what I want to know now is if there are other ways to achieve the same result, or are potentiometers the best and most economical way of doing this? My preference would be to have a knob like mechanism, or sliding mechanism.