The formatting of text and numbers to improve readability or to otherwise improve comprehension.

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69
votes
5answers
4k views

Do American users also confuse the day and the month in dates like 01/02/2013

Almost everywhere outside the United States, when short dates, e.g. 01/02/2013, are shown on computer screens, the user can't be sure whether the first two digits represent the day or the month. Is it ...
28
votes
6answers
47k views

International Currency Formatting Guidelines — Currency Codes

In developing a web application that presents monetary data for a variety of locales, I have inquired about the differences of currency formats. In particular, I'd like to know when it is appropriate ...
27
votes
5answers
1k views

Is constantly updating the formatting of a numeric input box a good idea?

I have a numeric input box, as part of a form. I'm implementing delimited splitting, to make large numbers easier to read. ie, 1000000 would become 1,000,000. Would it be a good idea to automatically ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

Are italics on the web bad for accessibility?

On a current web project, we've received word from the client that we can no longer have any italicized text on the website we are building. When I asked for some reasoning, I was told that "our ...
21
votes
8answers
765 views

When should hyperlink text be used?

Should text links always be text or are there cases when it makes more sense to simply link the URL? Examples A text link might look like this: Responsive Web Design Techniques, Tools and Design ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Should users be allowed to copy and paste rich text into text?

I have a wiki-style application where users can create articles. Recently, some users have been complaining that our editor does not support copying rich text and formatting from applications like ...
21
votes
9answers
679 views

What is the best email address format for people with the same first and last name?

The larger the company, the more likely that there will be two people with the same name. Typically, email addresses are formatted firstname.lastname@company.com What should the email address format ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How to display a large quantity of (read-only) fields?

I have a page in a site I'm working on that requires we show the user a large amount of field information when the user requests it. This is an account information page, so will list their personal ...
19
votes
11answers
29k views

friendly format for Phone Numbers

Currently on my website users are required to input their phone number in a very specific format (555-555-5555). If you forget the dashes it breaks. Does anyone have a good suggestions for how to be ...
18
votes
6answers
687 views

When formatting numeric data with rounding, should the total line reflect the total of the rounded data, or the raw, unrounded data?

Consider this scenario: The rounded numbers add up to 195. But the rounded total would only be 193. So which total should you show when showing rounded numbers. The one that matches what is SHOWN ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Best practice for form layouts?

Is there a best practice for forms, or is it conditional on the length of it, and what it's for? I have a registration page with about 10 different input fields, and not sure if I should do two ...
16
votes
3answers
729 views

Should first and last name be formatted?

When collecting first and last name from users, should the name be formatted if it will be shown to the user again? Example: BILL is formatted to Bill It seem almost impossible to account for all ...
15
votes
7answers
861 views

Ideal breaks for long numbers?

Is there any rules-of-thumb or actual research on how to make long numbers more legible? We are dealing with 14 digit numbers: 12345678912345 This can be hard to read back over the phone as it's ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

For death year, should I use N/A or — if person still alive?

I am making an app that displays detailed information of all U.S. presidents. For each president, you can view data such as the year the president was born and died. George Washington ...
13
votes
3answers
507 views

Should large numbers be formatted with delimiters?

Every country has a different way of delimiting large numbers. In USA, we put commas between every three digits. For example, one million would appear as 1,000,000. I believe this allows the reader to ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Whats the best way to present a time duration to user?

We're trying to implement the most effective method of displaying duration it takes for user to complete a puzzle. Looking for simplicity and accuracy. I've added two examples that we've been working ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What are some reference works for capitalization in UI text?

I'm currently in the process of updating the language files for a large web portal. Over time, a lot of inconsistencies have crept in, and so in different places you might see contrasting: Titles > ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

friendly version of date formats

The users of my application have the ability to choose their prefered date format between: dd/mm/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy yyyy-mm-dd The 1st one (which has the Java pattern dd/MM/yyyy) produces 31/12/2011. ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

When should bold, italics, and colour be used to draw attention in a sentence?

Following is my signature on some other fora: Interested in Drawing, Painting, and Crafts? Please Commit to the Arts and Crafts Stackoverflow proposal! I cannot show it here but the words ...
10
votes
2answers
564 views

Formatting relative dates and times

First, when I talk about relative times (or would dates be more accurate?), I mean these 4 minutes ago, 1 hour ago, etc. When should they be used? With what degree of precision? Shouldn't it be the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct way to format cents and dollars in a grid column with a total?

I have a grid with columns that are formatted as cents and dollars. By default, the tender and amount columns are being formatted as integers, but for the total we are formatting it as 2 decimal ...
9
votes
10answers
597 views

Is it better to represent simple labeled information as table or just text with subheadings?

I'm redesigning a website that has some simple information presented as a table like this: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups I read yet the again the Label ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

Best way to represent null and empty data in an excel file

We have an application that allows users to design their own forms and export the data to excel. One problem is the representation of null or empty data. There are two scenarios that we need to ...
8
votes
2answers
224 views

What is the point of bbcode (and related markup)?

Why do some sites/forums use bbcode or another formatting language when they could just allow filtered html?
8
votes
2answers
334 views

Is a number easier to read with the thousand separator?

This may sound like a stupid question but I'm being taken to task for this at the moment. Personally I believe that it's easier to read 1,234.56 than 1234.56. However there are others that are saying ...
8
votes
5answers
555 views

Conventions for the display of large numbers

I have a grid column which can display numbers ranging from single digits and into the billions. I think that at some point we need to switch from displaying the whole number to using abbreviations, ...
8
votes
1answer
252 views

How much text markup is good, before it becomes bad?

In 1997 Jakob Nielsen told us about how users read on the web. (Actually in a typically headline grabbing way, he says they don't and then tells us how they do!) Nielsen is a big proponent of using ...
7
votes
3answers
431 views

What is the correct way to indicate something can be either singular or plural?

Taking it as a given that the system is not intelligent enough to be able to recognise a single result as apposed to multiple results (don't ask!), what is the correct way to represent the possibility ...
7
votes
4answers
127 views

Print array index in plain text

I'm developing an engineering application which stores data in C arrays. When a user edits data representing one of the items of the array, I want to be able to show the item number they're editing. ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

best way to display phone numbers from various countries?

The site I'm working on will list contact data for dealers from around the globe. I'm uncertain what the best way to display non-US phone numbers is. Reading Local conventions for writing telephone ...
6
votes
1answer
316 views

International conventions/standards for abbreviating large numbers?

The concept of formatting large numbers in an abbreviated fashion for casual, non-scientific display (e.g. 12,345 as "12.3k") is well explored on SE: What is an alternative way to display a very ...
5
votes
4answers
423 views

What is best practice for currency padding/rounding when entering values in a text field?

If I have a text field on a web page which displays a currency symbol next to the field is there any problem in taking values entered without 2 decimal places and adding them after the user submits? ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Best date formatting for post times on forums as far as UX is concerned?

This question is spawned out of a discussion on the meta forums for Discourse, a modern take on forum software being developed by our very own Jeff Atwood. Which date/time formatting provides the ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Formatting “days” in a timespan

When formatting timespans in short form for something like a stopwatch, I know the standard in most places is to use hh:mm:ss.ff (where "f" is "fractional second"). Some places will use mm' ss" ff, ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Wrapping Stack Exchange footer site list?

Browsing through the StackExchange Android website I came across this, and was curious whether wrapping of site names is correct. Will a users eye automatically read "User" and wrap their eyes to the ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Should both bold and italics be allowed in electronic flashcards?

When people create electronic flashcards, is there a valid need for them to have markdown for both bold and italics? This is a question that I have been debating with some colleagues for a while now ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Best formatting (aligment) for of a list of facts

In an application (though what follows applies equal well to a report) there will be a panel which shows a list of various statistics or facts, of this general form: "Category: data". So, for ...
5
votes
4answers
595 views

What is an alternative way to display a very large number?

In my application I have a text field that should display numbers (representing money) ranging from 0 to 999 trillion. The users of my application are the general public, so displaying a scientific ...
5
votes
3answers
221 views

When is it a good idea to force a format in a text box for currency?

Is this a good idea to format a text box if it's only for currency? It makes sure the user does not enter unwanted characters, including the decimal character. What I have now is this. For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

First character of table column name in upper case

I have a table with the following column descriptions.: | Titel | bisheriges Ablaufdatum | neues Ablaufdatum | |:-----------|-----------------------:|:-----------------:| | First | ...
4
votes
3answers
113 views

Rules of writing out numbers vs. What the User prefers to read

A simple and generic question that I can not find a straight answer for. The rule that I am debating is based on that I should write 2 if it is a measured value. In this situation the 2 is a rounded ...
4
votes
3answers
813 views

Date and time format placeholders

I'm going to allow user of a website to choose the display format for their dates but not sure of what placeholder/title to display. So for the format "dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm" which placeholder should I ...
4
votes
3answers
176 views

In a high precision meter do I display battery voltage as a fractional number of volts or as a whole number of millivolts?

There's an Android battery meter application for enthusiasts (control freaks actually) that displays the remaining charge percentage and the current voltage. A typical phone will use a Li-Ion battery ...
4
votes
2answers
661 views

Best practice for monetary input separators validation internationally?

Imagine an application where we have mixing of number formatting with regards to separators. To simplify we'll pretend it's just US Dollars (12,345.67) and Euros (12.345,67). Some users can view and ...
3
votes
7answers
289 views

Is it good UX to right align numerical data in a text field when editing?

I understand it's a necessity when it comes to viewing data in a table or a list that numeric values should be righ aligned. but when it comes to editing the values in a text field, should it be same? ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does it seems like the convention is “Last Name, First Name” all over the web?

I understand that in a long list of names that searching typing in last name first makes it easier to filter but all over the web, I see tables where names are listed as "Last Name, First Name" format ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

Dealing with awfully formatted user input

So, I'm dealing with users who do not seem to care enough to enter their fields with proper spacing and in the right case. For example John Harry Smith is entered as John harry smith or maybe even ...
3
votes
5answers
173 views

Table head labels should be bigger?

One of my clients is asking me to make column head labels bigger, but i prefer them smaller but bold and lighter. which one should be the better? bigger and bolder headings for each column? or smaller ...
3
votes
1answer
987 views

HTML table cell wrapping issue

One of the problems in a tabular representation of data, is text wrapping inside cells. There are some options available, like: Fixing the width of the columns, and enlarging the rows height to ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Currency format: By Locale or Currency?

Similar to this, but different question: International Currency Formatting Guidelines — Currency Codes Wondering if currency formats are locale or currency dependent. For instance, if I wanted ...