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Our apps frequently deal with events that begin on one day and end on the next. This almost always turns something very simple, such as:

Event: Yankees vs Red Sox | Date: 9/1/14 | Start Time: 8pm | End Time: 12:00 AM

Into a drawn out discussion about whether we should display the end date, and where it should be placed in the order of information.

Event: Yankees vs Red Sox | Start Date: 9/1/14 | Start Time: 8pm | End Date: 9/2/14 | End Time: 12:00 AM

or

Event: Yankees vs Red Sox | Start Date: 9/1/14 | Start Time: 8pm | End Time: 12:00 AM | End Date: 9/2/14

My argument is always that it is understood that this event ends the day after it began (we aren't dealing with events that go for greater than 3624 hours), so why clutter the screen with it?

I need a pattern.

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1  
Why make anyone guess? –  Marjan Venema Jan 16 at 12:57
1  
36 hours can still span 3 days. –  André Jan 16 at 14:37

5 Answers 5

Consider:

Start: Mon 9/1/2014,  8PM
Ends:  Tue 9/2/2014, 12AM (28 hours long)

Although not directly in your question, be prepare for 12AM to confuse users - is it midnight or midday (the former is the convention, but many people don't know this).

By the way, if your event is never more than 6 hours long consider:

Start:  Mon 9/1/2014, 8PM
Length: 4 Hours
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1  
12AM should be the next day, so 9/1 8p to 9/2 12a is 4 hours long, not 28 hours. –  Danqing Jan 15 at 22:17
    
You are largely right, although much confusion exists around this. I'm leaving it 28 hours, so others can see the issue. –  Izhaki Jan 15 at 22:24
    
@Izhaki - Weird ... I've never heard of confusion about 12 AM. 12 AM is the 1st minute of a particular day. 11:59 PM is the last minute of a particular day. Just imagine if us developers were confused about that. LoL ... nothing would work right! –  Code Maverick Jan 15 at 22:38
    
I know, it's wired! Used to 24 hour clocks. –  Izhaki Jan 15 at 22:44
    
@CodeMaverick another confused one here; an instant mapping of 12am = 00 and 12pm = 12 eluded me until I was about 17 years old :v –  Jessica Yang Jan 15 at 23:09

I think one common approach is to put (+1 day) next to the 12 A.M. time. This is used for example in flight searches.

Google Flights

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2  
I wouldn't actually call it common - it's the first time I see it. And in my view it is actually quite confusing. Perhaps I should fly to Tokyo more often. –  Izhaki Jan 15 at 22:10
    
Why would you put +1 day for a baseball game? For a baseball game, there should be no end date because you can't know when it will end before it actually does. –  Code Maverick Jan 15 at 22:33
    
@CodeMaverick most events have end times, for example concerts, movies, etc. Sports games may be special, but for others, it is good to show end time so the user has a sense of when this event will finish. –  Danqing Jan 15 at 22:48
    
@Danqing - I hear ya, I was commenting based on the OP's example. –  Code Maverick Jan 15 at 22:50
    
Also my first time seeing it - made me think of Google+ (heh) and daggers/asterisks/those sorts of things. I think '+1 day' would work though. –  Jessica Yang Jan 15 at 23:07

I expect to see a specific start date and time and a specific end date and time. Leaving all guesswork out of the equation.

Example

Start: 13th June 2013 at 20:00 hrs
End: 14th June 2013 at 09:00 hrs.
Duration: 13 hrs.

I previously ran a nightlife orientated social network and events could be nightclub events, after-parties, festivals for example, all frequently lasting a different amount of hours and days.

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Care to explain why, whoever downvoted this? –  zigojacko Jan 16 at 16:43
    
this is good feedback. not sure why the down vote. –  Mccoy Jan 17 at 17:00

I fly accross the Atlantic quite often, and I always get the (+1) after the date added to inform me I land the next day. I don't even see it anymore as an actual statement saying "Add one day" but just as a reminder that I land the next day. I expect that to happen every now and then so I am prepared for this.

For events like you describe I think people will expect this not to last over 24 hours, so don't clutter the screen with the end-date. It is ignored at least and could even be considered to be noise. I'd leave it out or go with the (+1) kind of notation.

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With respect to your specific event, a baseball game, I don't think you would ever show the end date/time. You never know when a game will end. It could end at 10:30PM, 11:00PM, 12:00AM, or even further if they go into extra innings.

I think it's better form to simply show the start date/time. Take a look at StubHub, they don't show the end time.

If you have to show an end date/time, you could say "Until the game is over".

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