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As you can see in the picture above there two version of displaying update date. One with just the date and the other with updated word prepended.

My question is, what version actually to use? I think the second version unnecessarly takes space that could be used otherwise. But on the other hand the user might don't know what this date means. Is there any standardization or style guide on how to do this?

What do you think?

4 Answers 4


If the user can't get this information from context, repeat it.

Perhaps put less emphasis on it (eg. don't make the text "Updated" bold), but do repeat it so the user has a local context right next to the data to decode what it means.

There's no 'standard' for this as it is, yet we're over with map legends in 2012.

For a repeated label, it's enough to look sidewise:

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  • 2
    +1 Dates in and of themselves don't mean much. Everything in life can have multiple dates associated with it. Even if you are only showing a single date, you will have to tell your users somewhere what the meaning of that date is. And like @Aadaam is saying, if the context of the date isn't obvious in the immedate vicinity of that date, you had better repeat it somehow. Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 14:03

I believe is always usefull to know the data context, often in complex interfaces we asume that the user know about the context but it's the oposite, often needs reminders and help of the data they are visualizing, another aproach to this could be a tooltip when the user hover's on the date show a help option describing what it is, this get's you both you to free space and context help, regards.


Does it matter to the user whether that date is a created by date or the time of last update? Since the screenshot only shows a portion of the UI I can't be sure but are you displaying both create and update timestamps?

As both a user and admin of many issue tracking systems the only date I usually care about is the date the item was last updated, whether that was the creating or the 23rd update. Though it might be helpful to communicate in some other way that an issue is "New" and unaddressed. So instead of adding "Updated" over and over again, would a small "New" icon/flag be an option to put to the right hand side of the timestamp on those issues?


If you want to reclaim the real estate consumed by the static text, and your users tend to be of recurring kind, then you might consider not showing it but instead displaying it as a tooltip.
This is because your users need to see it only once in their lives.
Anyway, you should not rely in the user finding the tooltip. To be sure that the information (the date's ans more, I guess) I would set a [?] help button with all the information.

I also like Aadaam suggestion about not bolding the static text. Notice that if you do so the text will be smaller (shorter) so you'd effectively reclaim part of that screen space.

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