I have a planner user interface showing data related to week days. Should I bother the user to choose from a combobox the Sunday/Monday day as the first day of the week to give him more freedom (he has not to change the browser language setting just to get what he wants)


should I compute the first day of the week from the browser language settings?

I am unsure because that would mean when the browser has german language settings the first day is a monday, but what if the user comes from another country where Sunday could be the first day of a week. Now the user has different expectations.

But maybe I demand/think too much about my customer and just compute the first day of the week and its done?

I am unsure which way to go.

  • 1
    Make it configurable and intuitive.
    – CodeART
    Nov 24, 2013 at 21:59
  • Do you really want us to define your requirements? You should ask the requirements team/engineer/customer.
    – mattnz
    Nov 25, 2013 at 2:08
  • This should not be an "either-or" question. Do both. Though I agree with @Christian that the default should be the international ISO standard, defaulting to the user's regional settings is a lot more friendly. Nov 25, 2013 at 8:10
  • @mattnz No! I can not ask them because I am the only one. I thought there are people here more advanced/experienced than I am and I could profit from them. I can not ask my customers because then I would need people from different countries, what I do not have.
    – HelloWorld
    Nov 25, 2013 at 12:38

3 Answers 3


You should definitely allow the user to make this choice independent of their locale settings. Many people will want their planner calendar to match up to other calendar software in which they may have made custom settings, or to match features of their work schedule or lifestyle that might not be represented in the standard for their locale.

  • Thanks, thus I offer my potential customers the posibility to choose from sunday and monday.
    – HelloWorld
    Nov 25, 2013 at 17:48

The international standard defined in ISO 8601 is that a week begins on Monday. That means that you don't set someones week starting with Sunday based on language configurations. Monday is always the correct default.

If you want to give the user the choice to use a nonstandard calendar that starts with Sunday, the user should make that choice himself.

  • Apparently the ISO 8601 doesn't consider all the people that start their week on Sundays. They really exist!
    – Dvir Adler
    Nov 25, 2013 at 11:31
  • 2
    There also people who use calendars that doesn't count years since Christ. You can't support every possible calendar choice. You support the standard and to the extend that you want to be nice to some people with alternative calendars you implement features that allow them to change the calendar.
    – Christian
    Nov 25, 2013 at 13:47
  • So the original question might be answered by the extent of internationalization the app would support.
    – Dvir Adler
    Nov 26, 2013 at 17:49

More freedom is always good! (except when it isn't)

You should make the setting be separate from any other settings, especially if they are system settings that they might not know about or understand. This will allow them to make the setting in your program different from the system in either of the two main cases:

  1. They want to
  2. They don't know how to do otherwise.

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