While managing my rss subscriptions, I noticed that some websites use confusing date formatting. For example: What date is 12/05/09?
- May 12th, 2009
- December 5th, 2009
- May 9th, 2012
Using Date Formats: MM/DD/YY (common in US), DD/MM/YY (common in Europe) and YY/MM/DD (used in Japan) are really confusing.
Dates used in web sites should be understandable for all cultures. The best practice for date formatting is using month names with 4 digit year. So the right formats for our example are - 12 May 2009 or May 12th, 2009.
It is hard for users to understand if the post is up-to-date or not when displaying day and month information without a year
Second issue about date formatting is displaying day and month information without a year. It is hard for users to understand if the reading is relevant for them. Showing full date enables users to understand if the article/post/site is outdated or not.
Many blogs and websites display dates in confusing or incomplete formats. It is important to display dates in a way that they are complete and understandable in all cultures.