I am not a native english speaker, so therefore I reach out to you with this question.

We have a case where a user "does something" in our application at a given time. The next day, the user will come back to the application and we will present this timestamp to our user.

We are discussing wether we should include the "AM/PM" indicator for this particular timestamp or not.

What would be the best approach here? Mostly reaching out to native English speakers.

  • Is the timestamp in 12-hour or 24-hour format? – locationunknown Feb 4 '20 at 10:05

Retain the AM/PM for 12-hour format -- 08:35 AM | 08:35 PM.
Or choose the 24-hour format -- 08:35 | 20:35.

One of the primary tenets of UX design is to not make the user think. By skipping the AM/PM, you're forcing the user to see just 08:35 and think your system uses 24-hour formats when you're not, and probably interpret it as AM when it could be either AM or PM.

#4 Clarity (Don’t Make Users Think)

It is assumed as the most prioritized principle in UX Design. Designers are asked to make their design as clear as possible so that users could not get confused. If your users get confused, your design will receive a bad response from them.

Source: UXPlanet - 5 Principles of UX Design

  • I know this is old, but note that modern Android and iOS devices have dropped the am/pm marker in 12 hour format. – Jeffrey Blattman Feb 26 at 22:11

A better way to show just say You've visited at 15:33 avoid AM, PM, choose 24hr format.

  • 2
    I think that depends on your audience and your tone. In the US and English Canada, for instance, a 24-hour format is unfamiliar outside of a military context. In Britain and French Canada, 24-hour format is used in formal writing (newspapers, TV news bulletins), but conversationally people more often speak in 12-hour format. – Tim FitzGerald Feb 4 '20 at 13:10
  • How would a user know whether "11:15" is in 12- or 24-hour time? – maxathousand Feb 4 '20 at 18:39
  • 12-hour format runs from 1 am to 12 noon and then from 1 pm to 12 midnight. The 24-hour format uses the numbers 00:00 to 23:59 (midnight is 00:00). – Bhushan Patil Feb 5 '20 at 12:45

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