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

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64
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
887 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
803 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
667 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
283 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
544 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 ...
14
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
313 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
1k 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
2answers
379 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
574 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
423 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
2answers
372 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
217 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
245 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
313 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
228 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
300 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
104 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
3k 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
5answers
572 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
104 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
3answers
394 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
87 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
92 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
109 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
128 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
324 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
545 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 > ...
4
votes
3answers
146 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
126 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
86 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
324 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
319 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
1answer
620 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
232 views

Should there be a space after the copyright symbol ©?

To space, or not to space, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to place the copyright statement in the footer of an application, or somewhere else, is beside the point. What I want ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Best option for data grid records that each can have different multiple choices

Below is a mock up of the screen, and I'm not sure of the best way to do the Delay Reasons in this case. Each service can have multiple delay reasons and each service can have different delay ...
2
votes
5answers
139 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

How much of the related text should be included in a hyperlink?

When adding hyperlinks to the markup in paragraph-sized runs of text, how much of the text relevant to each link should be included? So I know links that just say "here" or "this" are bad, but what ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Globalization Patterns for Dates Without Year

In my application, there is a field that represents the end of the accounting year for an entity. This "date" is the same every year, so what we currently present to the user is field with a month ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

What is the best format for a countdown timer?

I was wondering if it is better for the user to display a countdown timer in the format of 36 hours, 12 minutes, 30 seconds instead of 1 day, 12 hours, 12 minutes, 30 seconds. I think that with the ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

How to explain time zones when collecting future date & time from a customer on website

I am designing a web page where a user enters a date and time for an action to happen. This action will have a very significant impact on their daily lives, so it is important that the customer ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Displaying Dates and Time with Locally Relevant Time Zone Information

I am specifying enhancements to a system that will need to report on employee activity in different time zones. I anticipate that users of the system will be able to set a 'Home' or Local Time Zone - ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

What is the best compact chart format for a binary value over time?

I want to show a "success"/"failed" value on a chart in a compact space. Basically I have various processes that run every day. I want to show in a compact space the status history of each process. ...
1
vote
4answers
234 views

What would be the best way to format a time range?

I have a chart control and a time bound value. The control displays the value aggregated over equal intervals of time. It is important to display the corresponding time range for each aggregated data ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Is it a good idea to collapse a range of dates when formatting an interval of just one day?

I'm working on a web application that shows a list of records with a "start" and an "end" date. Normally, the interval is shown like this: # | Period | Etc ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Common techniques/resources for formatting source code?

Two parter: Does anyone know of any stylesheets that are meant to format like visual studio, also any that format like chrome's javascript debugger. What's the preferred way of formatting source ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Displaying floating point values

My app deals with mathematics and geometry, and it will often have to display floating point values. As you may know, floats often have gunk in their least significant digits after a few calculations ...