Date Format

6 Apr 2007 - 6:49am
7 years ago
16 replies
593 reads
AlokJain
2006

Dear All,

I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They have been
using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am of the
belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as it puts
less cognitive load on the users.

I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific research
data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/opinions?

Regards
Alok Jain

Comments

6 Apr 2007 - 8:20am
Peter Bagnall
2003

Hi Alok,

I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I always
use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
what you're suggesting.

With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the US and
visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec 2007 or
Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the US. My
coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
entirely confident about it.

Cheers
--Pete

On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:

> Dear All,
>
> I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
> have been
> using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
> of the
> belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
> it puts
> less cognitive load on the users.
>
> I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific
> research
> data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
> opinions?
>
> Regards
> Alok Jain
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

----------------------------------------------------------
You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
- Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973

Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/

6 Apr 2007 - 8:26am
Christopher Fahey
2005

> I am of the belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g.
> Apr 12, 2007 will be better as it puts less
> cognitive load on the users.

I'll eat my shoes if any legitimate study shows that an all-numerical
date format is more efficient for humans to read than the traditional
version with the month written out alphabetically, even as a
three-letter abbreviation.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

6 Apr 2007 - 8:31am
Dave Malouf
2005

Alok,

there are a lot of issues around this.
What are your layout constraints. A numbers only date format takes up
less space so that might be a reason to continue this.
I also think that a numbers only date is not really that great of a
cognitive load and to Peter's point if this is a US site there is NO
way they want to consider "foreigners" in the equation. Learn the US
way or leave is the usual way of doing things.

Now that being said, if you ARE worried about cog load and you DO have
the space then of course it is always better to be more specific and
clear in everything you present. i don't think you need research to
support this notion. But if the client has been doing this across the
enterprise, why focus on this seemingly small element to effect
change. i'm sure you have much bigger battles to fight, no?

I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
date format, so I think we got it down at this point.

-- dave

On 4/6/07, Peter Bagnall <pete at surfaceeffect.com> wrote:
> Hi Alok,
>
> I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I always
> use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
> users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
> cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
> what you're suggesting.
>
> With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the US and
> visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec 2007 or
> Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the US. My
> coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
> not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
> entirely confident about it.
>
> Cheers
> --Pete
>
> On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:
>
> > Dear All,
> >
> > I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
> > have been
> > using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
> > of the
> > belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
> > it puts
> > less cognitive load on the users.
> >
> > I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific
> > research
> > data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
> > opinions?
> >
> > Regards
> > Alok Jain
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
> - Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973
>
> Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Apr 2007 - 8:37am
.pauric
2006

" Learn the US way or leave is the usual way of doing things."

Not quite true, all outward facing US customs forms carry the international
format of dd/mm/yyyy. Seemingly it was more simple to change the processing
than to correct everyone entering the country.

For once: US 0, Rest of the World 1 (o;

Using the US format is the bane of my life, I get a cognitive backfire every
time I write a cheque, I mean check (o;

6 Apr 2007 - 8:36am
Susie Robson
2004

I agree with what some have said, using the MMM (APR, JAN) in either
position is obvious whereas using all numbers can be rather confusing
since it can be done either way. However, I think context can be
important. We have some apps that have a date column and if you want to
sort the date in ascending or descending order, using the ISO YYYY-MM-DD
allows for accurate sorting. That is why we choose to use ISO format,
but that's because of our needs. Your mileage may vary.

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
David Malouf
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:32 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format

Alok,

there are a lot of issues around this.
What are your layout constraints. A numbers only date format takes up
less space so that might be a reason to continue this.
I also think that a numbers only date is not really that great of a
cognitive load and to Peter's point if this is a US site there is NO
way they want to consider "foreigners" in the equation. Learn the US
way or leave is the usual way of doing things.

Now that being said, if you ARE worried about cog load and you DO have
the space then of course it is always better to be more specific and
clear in everything you present. i don't think you need research to
support this notion. But if the client has been doing this across the
enterprise, why focus on this seemingly small element to effect
change. i'm sure you have much bigger battles to fight, no?

I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
date format, so I think we got it down at this point.

-- dave

On 4/6/07, Peter Bagnall <pete at surfaceeffect.com> wrote:
> Hi Alok,
>
> I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I always
> use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
> users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
> cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
> what you're suggesting.
>
> With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the US and
> visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec 2007 or
> Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the US. My
> coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
> not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
> entirely confident about it.
>
> Cheers
> --Pete
>
> On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:
>
> > Dear All,
> >
> > I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
> > have been
> > using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
> > of the
> > belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
> > it puts
> > less cognitive load on the users.
> >
> > I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific
> > research
> > data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
> > opinions?
> >
> > Regards
> > Alok Jain
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
> - Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973
>
> Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

6 Apr 2007 - 8:42am
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi Susie,

While ISO is necessary for formatting, why would I present that? I can
keep that behind the scenes. ISO is not familiar to any user I have
ever met. It is not taught in lower level education and has to be
learned new. if I kept the ISO format at the programmatic level I
solve your problem, no? if it is something in Excel or other non-web
environment, Excel hides the ISO from the user already so you don't
need to repeat it.

-- dave

On 4/6/07, Susie Robson <Susie.Robson at mathworks.com> wrote:
> I agree with what some have said, using the MMM (APR, JAN) in either
> position is obvious whereas using all numbers can be rather confusing
> since it can be done either way. However, I think context can be
> important. We have some apps that have a date column and if you want to
> sort the date in ascending or descending order, using the ISO YYYY-MM-DD
> allows for accurate sorting. That is why we choose to use ISO format,
> but that's because of our needs. Your mileage may vary.
>
> Susie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> David Malouf
> Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:32 AM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format
>
> Alok,
>
> there are a lot of issues around this.
> What are your layout constraints. A numbers only date format takes up
> less space so that might be a reason to continue this.
> I also think that a numbers only date is not really that great of a
> cognitive load and to Peter's point if this is a US site there is NO
> way they want to consider "foreigners" in the equation. Learn the US
> way or leave is the usual way of doing things.
>
> Now that being said, if you ARE worried about cog load and you DO have
> the space then of course it is always better to be more specific and
> clear in everything you present. i don't think you need research to
> support this notion. But if the client has been doing this across the
> enterprise, why focus on this seemingly small element to effect
> change. i'm sure you have much bigger battles to fight, no?
>
> I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
> big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
> date format, so I think we got it down at this point.
>
> -- dave
>
> On 4/6/07, Peter Bagnall <pete at surfaceeffect.com> wrote:
> > Hi Alok,
> >
> > I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I always
> > use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
> > users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
> > cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
> > what you're suggesting.
> >
> > With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the US and
> > visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec 2007 or
> > Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the US. My
> > coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
> > not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
> > entirely confident about it.
> >
> > Cheers
> > --Pete
> >
> > On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:
> >
> > > Dear All,
> > >
> > > I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
> > > have been
> > > using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
> > > of the
> > > belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
> > > it puts
> > > less cognitive load on the users.
> > >
> > > I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific
> > > research
> > > data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
> > > opinions?
> > >
> > > Regards
> > > Alok Jain
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> > >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------
> > You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
> > - Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973
> >
> > Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Apr 2007 - 8:48am
Susie Robson
2004

I should probably explain that this is for our home-grown apps where
they haven't had the time (or so they tell me) to allow the info to be
determined behind the scenes. So, Excel does work as you say but our
home grown apps (and I believe Siebel as well, which we use heavily)
don't.

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
David Malouf
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:43 AM
To: IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format

Hi Susie,

While ISO is necessary for formatting, why would I present that? I can
keep that behind the scenes. ISO is not familiar to any user I have
ever met. It is not taught in lower level education and has to be
learned new. if I kept the ISO format at the programmatic level I
solve your problem, no? if it is something in Excel or other non-web
environment, Excel hides the ISO from the user already so you don't
need to repeat it.

-- dave

On 4/6/07, Susie Robson <Susie.Robson at mathworks.com> wrote:
> I agree with what some have said, using the MMM (APR, JAN) in either
> position is obvious whereas using all numbers can be rather confusing
> since it can be done either way. However, I think context can be
> important. We have some apps that have a date column and if you want
to
> sort the date in ascending or descending order, using the ISO
YYYY-MM-DD
> allows for accurate sorting. That is why we choose to use ISO format,
> but that's because of our needs. Your mileage may vary.
>
> Susie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> David Malouf
> Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:32 AM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format
>
> Alok,
>
> there are a lot of issues around this.
> What are your layout constraints. A numbers only date format takes up
> less space so that might be a reason to continue this.
> I also think that a numbers only date is not really that great of a
> cognitive load and to Peter's point if this is a US site there is NO
> way they want to consider "foreigners" in the equation. Learn the US
> way or leave is the usual way of doing things.
>
> Now that being said, if you ARE worried about cog load and you DO have
> the space then of course it is always better to be more specific and
> clear in everything you present. i don't think you need research to
> support this notion. But if the client has been doing this across the
> enterprise, why focus on this seemingly small element to effect
> change. i'm sure you have much bigger battles to fight, no?
>
> I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
> big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
> date format, so I think we got it down at this point.
>
> -- dave
>
> On 4/6/07, Peter Bagnall <pete at surfaceeffect.com> wrote:
> > Hi Alok,
> >
> > I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I always
> > use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
> > users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
> > cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
> > what you're suggesting.
> >
> > With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the US
and
> > visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec 2007 or
> > Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the US. My
> > coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
> > not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
> > entirely confident about it.
> >
> > Cheers
> > --Pete
> >
> > On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:
> >
> > > Dear All,
> > >
> > > I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
> > > have been
> > > using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
> > > of the
> > > belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
> > > it puts
> > > less cognitive load on the users.
> > >
> > > I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for
specific
> > > research
> > > data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
> > > opinions?
> > >
> > > Regards
> > > Alok Jain
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> > >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------
> > You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
> > - Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973
> >
> > Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

6 Apr 2007 - 9:00am
ldebett
2004

The only thing that comes to my mind (and might suggest Chris enjoy some
nice leather for lunch, ;-) lol!) is when ecommerce sites insist on forcing
you to choose a MMM and yyyy for the expiration date of your credit card
when it's so nicely printed on your card as mm/yy (like 04/08) and all you
should really do is match the numbers. Otherwise, I agree (just my opinion
though) that MMM dd, yyyy is much more efficient to read.

~Lisa

On 4/6/07, Christopher Fahey <chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com> wrote:
>
> > I am of the belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g.
> > Apr 12, 2007 will be better as it puts less
> > cognitive load on the users.
>
> I'll eat my shoes if any legitimate study shows that an all-numerical
> date format is more efficient for humans to read than the traditional
> version with the month written out alphabetically, even as a
> three-letter abbreviation.
>
> -Cf
>
> Christopher Fahey
> ____________________________
> Behavior
> http://www.behaviordesign.com
> me: http://www.graphpaper.com
>

6 Apr 2007 - 9:14am
jstrande
2007

Alok,

No research that I can reference, however, working on a site that is
accessed by about 25% of people outside the US, we chose to use:

DD-MMM-YYY (e.g. 06-APR-2007)

It is sort of the international standard (as others have pointed out), it
has a small footprint, and most people can read it fairly quickly and easily
- there is zero ambiguity as to what the date is.

I think for the people in the US, it would probably be better as
APR-06-2007, however, this seemed like a fairly nice standard to implement.

Additionally, is there a way that you can let people choose which date
format that they want? We currently have it as a personalization setting
(although we aren't making good use of that yet) - people can choose how
they want the date formatted.

Jon

On 4/6/07, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> The only thing that comes to my mind (and might suggest Chris enjoy some
> nice leather for lunch, ;-) lol!) is when ecommerce sites insist on
> forcing
> you to choose a MMM and yyyy for the expiration date of your credit card
> when it's so nicely printed on your card as mm/yy (like 04/08) and all you
> should really do is match the numbers. Otherwise, I agree (just my opinion
> though) that MMM dd, yyyy is much more efficient to read.
>
> ~Lisa
>
> On 4/6/07, Christopher Fahey <chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I am of the belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g.
> > > Apr 12, 2007 will be better as it puts less
> > > cognitive load on the users.
> >
> > I'll eat my shoes if any legitimate study shows that an all-numerical
> > date format is more efficient for humans to read than the traditional
> > version with the month written out alphabetically, even as a
> > three-letter abbreviation.
> >
> > -Cf
> >
> > Christopher Fahey
> > ____________________________
> > Behavior
> > http://www.behaviordesign.com
> > me: http://www.graphpaper.com
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

6 Apr 2007 - 2:02pm
Juan Lanus
2005

1- In many applications I used ddmmmyyyy (no separators) sucesfully, here in
Argentina where dates are writen like in UK. For example 06apr2007.
Lowercase month is read faster and takes less place. Notice that 06apr07
would be the same. It looks weird but works fine here for in-house
applications, and is the smallest.

2- Lisa, as credit card expiration dates have no day, it's not possible to
confuse day and month. It's a different case (I think Chris can take the
ketchup out of that shoe.)

3- Jon, people already chose their preferred date format, at least
implicitly in the configuration of Windows or whichever. It wouldn't be
polite to ask again. Using javascript it's easy to output a date formatted
acording to the user's preferences. Also time, for example in my country we
don't use AM/PM but 24-hour clocks for business matter.

I dislike the idea of making the user set "preferences" instead of a
designer set the appropriate values for them. Specially, for systems the
user will seldom use.
It's de designer's duty to set everything right, not the user's. But this is
snother discussion ...
--
Juan Lanus

6 Apr 2007 - 2:08pm
Håkan Reis
2006

Well, I have to correct you on that. The ISO standard happen to be the norm
in Sweden as well (and most of Scandinavia) At least yyyy-mm-dd or
dd/mm/yyyy give you a clear path from bigger increment to the smaller or
vice versa. Using mm/dd/yyyy to my mental wiring would be like telling time
in minutes, seconds and hours or maybe hours, seconds and minutes.

But it's mostly a cultural thing, find the users first. And to the original
question, yes if there is space us the MMM thing.

/ Håkan Reis

On 4/6/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Susie,
>
> While ISO is necessary for formatting, why would I present that? I can
> keep that behind the scenes. ISO is not familiar to any user I have
> ever met. It is not taught in lower level education and has to be
> learned new. if I kept the ISO format at the programmatic level I
> solve your problem, no? if it is something in Excel or other non-web
> environment, Excel hides the ISO from the user already so you don't
> need to repeat it.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On 4/6/07, Susie Robson <Susie.Robson at mathworks.com> wrote:
> > I agree with what some have said, using the MMM (APR, JAN) in either
> > position is obvious whereas using all numbers can be rather confusing
> > since it can be done either way. However, I think context can be
> > important. We have some apps that have a date column and if you want to
> > sort the date in ascending or descending order, using the ISO YYYY-MM-DD
> > allows for accurate sorting. That is why we choose to use ISO format,
> > but that's because of our needs. Your mileage may vary.
> >
> > Susie
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> > David Malouf
> > Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:32 AM
> > To: discuss at ixda.org
> > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format
> >
> > Alok,
> >
> > there are a lot of issues around this.
> > What are your layout constraints. A numbers only date format takes up
> > less space so that might be a reason to continue this.
> > I also think that a numbers only date is not really that great of a
> > cognitive load and to Peter's point if this is a US site there is NO
> > way they want to consider "foreigners" in the equation. Learn the US
> > way or leave is the usual way of doing things.
> >
> > Now that being said, if you ARE worried about cog load and you DO have
> > the space then of course it is always better to be more specific and
> > clear in everything you present. i don't think you need research to
> > support this notion. But if the client has been doing this across the
> > enterprise, why focus on this seemingly small element to effect
> > change. i'm sure you have much bigger battles to fight, no?
> >
> > I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
> > big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
> > date format, so I think we got it down at this point.
> >
> > -- dave
> >
> > On 4/6/07, Peter Bagnall <pete at surfaceeffect.com> wrote:
> > > Hi Alok,
> > >
> > > I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I always
> > > use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
> > > users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
> > > cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
> > > what you're suggesting.
> > >
> > > With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the US and
> > > visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec 2007 or
> > > Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the US. My
> > > coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
> > > not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
> > > entirely confident about it.
> > >
> > > Cheers
> > > --Pete
> > >
> > > On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dear All,
> > > >
> > > > I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
> > > > have been
> > > > using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
> > > > of the
> > > > belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
> > > > it puts
> > > > less cognitive load on the users.
> > > >
> > > > I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific
> > > > research
> > > > data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
> > > > opinions?
> > > >
> > > > Regards
> > > > Alok Jain
> > > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > > > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > > > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > > > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > > > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> > > >
> > >
> > > ----------------------------------------------------------
> > > You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
> > > - Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973
> > >
> > > Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David Malouf
> > http://synapticburn.com/
> > http://ixda.org/
> > http://motorola.com/
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

--
Håkan Reis
Dotway AB

Voice: +46 (40) 602 32 10
Sms: +46 (768) 51 00 33

http://blog.reis.se

6 Apr 2007 - 2:59pm
cfmdesigns
2004

>From: David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com>
>
>I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
>big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
>date format, so I think we got it down at this point.

For myself, I routinely screw up transferring months to numbers. OCTober is month 08, right?

I occasionally blow November in the same way, but not September and never December, since I mentally associate it with "last number" rather than pulling out the Latin root.

-- Jim

6 Apr 2007 - 2:59pm
Peter Bagnall
2003

Large parts of Asia too I'm told.
--Pete

On 6 Apr 2007, at 20:08, Håkan Reis wrote:

> Well, I have to correct you on that. The ISO standard happen to be
> the norm
> in Sweden as well (and most of Scandinavia) At least yyyy-mm-dd or
> dd/mm/yyyy give you a clear path from bigger increment to the
> smaller or
> vice versa. Using mm/dd/yyyy to my mental wiring would be like
> telling time
> in minutes, seconds and hours or maybe hours, seconds and minutes.
>
> But it's mostly a cultural thing, find the users first. And to the
> original
> question, yes if there is space us the MMM thing.
>
> / Håkan Reis
>
> On 4/6/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Susie,
>>
>> While ISO is necessary for formatting, why would I present that? I
>> can
>> keep that behind the scenes. ISO is not familiar to any user I have
>> ever met. It is not taught in lower level education and has to be
>> learned new. if I kept the ISO format at the programmatic level I
>> solve your problem, no? if it is something in Excel or other non-web
>> environment, Excel hides the ISO from the user already so you don't
>> need to repeat it.
>>
>> -- dave
>>
>>
>> On 4/6/07, Susie Robson <Susie.Robson at mathworks.com> wrote:
>>> I agree with what some have said, using the MMM (APR, JAN) in either
>>> position is obvious whereas using all numbers can be rather
>>> confusing
>>> since it can be done either way. However, I think context can be
>>> important. We have some apps that have a date column and if you
>>> want to
>>> sort the date in ascending or descending order, using the ISO
>>> YYYY-MM-DD
>>> allows for accurate sorting. That is why we choose to use ISO
>>> format,
>>> but that's because of our needs. Your mileage may vary.
>>>
>>> Susie
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>>> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
>>> David Malouf
>>> Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:32 AM
>>> To: discuss at ixda.org
>>> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format
>>>
>>> Alok,
>>>
>>> there are a lot of issues around this.
>>> What are your layout constraints. A numbers only date format
>>> takes up
>>> less space so that might be a reason to continue this.
>>> I also think that a numbers only date is not really that great of a
>>> cognitive load and to Peter's point if this is a US site there is NO
>>> way they want to consider "foreigners" in the equation. Learn the US
>>> way or leave is the usual way of doing things.
>>>
>>> Now that being said, if you ARE worried about cog load and you DO
>>> have
>>> the space then of course it is always better to be more specific and
>>> clear in everything you present. i don't think you need research to
>>> support this notion. But if the client has been doing this across
>>> the
>>> enterprise, why focus on this seemingly small element to effect
>>> change. i'm sure you have much bigger battles to fight, no?
>>>
>>> I guess in the end I can't imagine the cog load issue is REALLY that
>>> big of a deal. Since like 2nd grade USers are using a numbers only
>>> date format, so I think we got it down at this point.
>>>
>>> -- dave
>>>
>>> On 4/6/07, Peter Bagnall <pete at surfaceeffect.com> wrote:
>>>> Hi Alok,
>>>>
>>>> I'm in the UK so the standard date format is dd/mm/yyyy but I
>>>> always
>>>> use dd/MMM/yyyy because that way I know that regardless of where
>>>> users are from the date will be unambiguous - hence less confusion,
>>>> cognitive load and error. If I were in the US I would do precisely
>>>> what you're suggesting.
>>>>
>>>> With people being mobile, there are plenty of Europeans in the
>>>> US and
>>>> visa versa who might misinterpret 04/12/2007 - is that 4 Dec
>>>> 2007 or
>>>> Apr 12, 2007? I know I found that confusing when I was in the
>>>> US. My
>>>> coping mechanism was to find other dates in the document which were
>>>> not ambiguous to see what format was being used, I never felt
>>>> entirely confident about it.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers
>>>> --Pete
>>>>
>>>> On 6 Apr 2007, at 12:49, Alok Jain wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Dear All,
>>>>>
>>>>> I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They
>>>>> have been
>>>>> using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am
>>>>> of the
>>>>> belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as
>>>>> it puts
>>>>> less cognitive load on the users.
>>>>>
>>>>> I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for
>>>>> specific
>>>>> research
>>>>> data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any eperiences/
>>>>> opinions?
>>>>>
>>>>> Regards
>>>>> Alok Jain
>>>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>>>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>>>>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>>>>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>>>>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>>>>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>>>>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>>>>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>>>> You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
>>>> - Jeannette Rankin, 1880 - 1973
>>>>
>>>> Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>>>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>>>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>>>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>>>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>>>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>>>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> David Malouf
>>> http://synapticburn.com/
>>> http://ixda.org/
>>> http://motorola.com/
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> David Malouf
>> http://synapticburn.com/
>> http://ixda.org/
>> http://motorola.com/
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> Håkan Reis
> Dotway AB
>
> Voice: +46 (40) 602 32 10
> Sms: +46 (768) 51 00 33
>
> http://blog.reis.se
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

----------------------------------------------------------
It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their
passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the
patient labors of peace.
- Andre Gide, 1869 - 1951

Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/

6 Apr 2007 - 3:35pm
Mark Canlas
2003

Is this for input or display? If it's for display, you should probably go
with the most clear, verbose, and still elegant looking style, like April
12, 2007.

If this is for input, just do it like Outlook does it. Accept any wacky
format the user chooses to input and have the software intelligently decide
which one it is, and then decode it back to a standardized format, like Apr
12, 2007.

-Mark

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-
> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Alok Jain
> Sent: Friday, April 6, 2007 7:49 AM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Date Format
>
> Dear All,
>
> I am working on an application for a US Federal department. They have
> been
> using the standard date format of mm/dd/yyyy e.g. 04/12/2007. I am of
> the
> belief that using MMM DD, yyyy e.g. Apr 12, 2007 will be better as it
> puts
> less cognitive load on the users.
>
> I am aware of ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) but am looking for specific
> research
> data. Is anyone aware of any research on the this? Any
> eperiences/opinions?
>
> Regards
> Alok Jain
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

7 Apr 2007 - 7:38am
jstrande
2007

Juan,

Thank you for the response! I'm with you on two points:

1.) I would NEVER want to ask someone to specify something that they've
already specified. I don't recall ever being asked what my preferred date
format is in Windows - just which time zone I'm in (and I just happen to
have set up a new PC this past week). Also, as I indicated, we set that date
format for a website, so we don't have a specified date format to work with.

2.) Part of a designers job, IMHO, is to make decisions so that the people
using the site/software/device don't have to think about it - as you state.
Ideally, we wouldn't set it as a preference, rather base it off the the
locale of the person - noting that what works for you in Argentina doesn't
necessarily work for someone in Sweden, China or the US. In fact, this
"locale" based customization is something that we've been looking at for
numerous aspects of our site (certain products are only sold in certain
regions, for example). This does have issues, however, and it is why we
haven't gone this route yet (someone could be designing something in the US
to be built in Asia, so they need to see products that are available outside
their region).

Again, thank you for the response!

Jon

On 4/6/07, Juan Lanus <juan.lanus at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> 1- In many applications I used ddmmmyyyy (no separators) sucesfully, here
> in Argentina where dates are writen like in UK. For example 06apr2007.
> Lowercase month is read faster and takes less place. Notice that 06apr07
> would be the same. It looks weird but works fine here for in-house
> applications, and is the smallest.
>
> 2- Lisa, as credit card expiration dates have no day, it's not possible to
> confuse day and month. It's a different case (I think Chris can take the
> ketchup out of that shoe.)
>
> 3- Jon, people already chose their preferred date format, at least
> implicitly in the configuration of Windows or whichever. It wouldn't be
> polite to ask again. Using javascript it's easy to output a date formatted
> acording to the user's preferences. Also time, for example in my country we
> don't use AM/PM but 24-hour clocks for business matter.
>
> I dislike the idea of making the user set "preferences" instead of a
> designer set the appropriate values for them. Specially, for systems the
> user will seldom use.
> It's de designer's duty to set everything right, not the user's. But this
> is snother discussion ...
> --
> Juan Lanus
>
>

7 Apr 2007 - 11:27am
ldebett
2004

Juan,

I wasn't suggesting that there was any confusion with day/month in
expiration dates on credit cards. I was stating that it is common for
ecommerce sites to force users to select a written month instead of a number
month when it is unnecessary and inappropriate to do so.

~Lisa

2- Lisa, as credit card expiration dates have no day, it's not possible to
> confuse day and month. It's a different case (I think Chris can take the
> ketchup out of that shoe.)
>
> Juan Lanus
>
>

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