How to Write Correct Dates for an International Audience

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A date will always remain the same for every country except for the writing style and writing format that is practiced differently in different countries. You therefore need to understand, how different it can be. Dates are mentioned in various formats, all over the world and if you are not careful enough on how to write it on your website, it might confuse your visitors and create serious misunderstanding.

 

Numeric Date Formats and its Diversity

 

For example, take a date like 3.6.2017. It depends on which part of the world you are residing and this particular date can be read as June 3rd, 2017 or it can be read as March 6th, 2017. If you are aware of the variety of date convention, rules and format options in your operating system, be it Windows, Mac or Linux where dates can be easily formatted into mm/dd/yy, dd/mm/yy or yyyy/mm/dd.

 

If you are publishing a website, numeric date formats can be really confusing and create a lot of ambiguity. Websites are very similar to local newspapers and journals. When you are publishing a website or a blog post, keep in mind that you have an international audience and you are communicating to the whole world. Since your visitors or customers are accustomed to their local date format, you need to create your website catering to that particular geographic audience who read your dates in a format that they follow are used to. In order to avoid misunderstanding and confusion, it is always advised to write dates in such a way that it will be interpreted correctly by readers or visitors from across the globe.

 

Writing Understandable Dates

 

A simple way to write a date that is understood by all in this world is to spell out the name of the month. For example, say “March 6, 2017” or “6 March 2017” instead of 3.6.2017 or 6.3.2017. When you spell out the month, the confusion regarding the dates is automatically cleared. It is regardless if the numbers for that particular day come before the month or after the month.

 

Use whichever format or convention you’re most familiar within your country or region; the moment you spell out the name of the month, which date can no longer be misinterpreted or confused.

 

Some people don’t want to spell the name of the month, simply because they fear that it makes their dates understandable only by people who read this particular language the date is written in. This impractical and illogical argument, however, doesn’t make any sense. No matter how you look at it, your site will always be written in a particular language. Spell the name of the month out in the language that the rest of your web page is in. If your visitors can read the rest of the web page in that particular language, they can also read the date. Otherwise, they aren’t even going to look at your date anyway.

 

If you are one of those who insist on using a numeric date, I think that the numeric date format that yields the least ambiguity is the YYYY-MM-DD format. That is, a date like 2017-08-05 is probably going to be interpreted by most people as 5 August 2017. I personally feel, though, that a date like “August 5, 2017” or “5 August 2017” is much easier to read (and faster to visually scan) than a string of digits.

 

Usability and Professionalism
Although dates are only a minuscule part of web design, it’s one of those little things that improve the usability and professionalism of your site. Best of all, it’s something that requires almost no effort to implement. This is something which looks miniscule but of immense value when thought in terms of user engaging and user friendliness in web design. The date therefore holds great significance in the overall design aspect of a mobile responsive website. An acclaimed web design company in india could well be the perfect choice if you’re seriously thinking of designing a flawless website with the dates in a readable form to your international as well as local audience.