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Ash Donaldson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 19 Apr 2004 13:56:37 +1000
text/plain (45 lines)
Quoting Marty Landman <[log in to unmask]>:
> You mean that if when first released in 2002 the expiration year dropdown
> for credit card contains 2002-2007 as selectable options then by 2004
> unless someone's made appropriate changes the dropdown now contains two
> dead years and may not go far out enough for every customer?

Just to head out on a tangent, here's an example where following what seems to
be a logical convention/rule/guideline without context (the "It depends.") can
be counter-intuitive:

Due to their non-standard nature, date formats can be confused.  Using the U.S.
MM/DD/YYYY format can be confused with the rest of the world's DD/MM/YYYY
format.  Using DD/MM may be confused with MM/DD or MM/YY.   Given this, 08/04
could be interpreted as 8 March, 4 August, or August 2004.  So what can be done
to remove this confusion (and lowering the resulting rate of error)?  Would it
be fair to say the best format for dates to be input on form drop-downs is to
spell them out?  "It depends."

Now, I don't know whether this is a localisation issue (if it's restricted to
Australia) or not, as I have never possessed a card from an overseas financial
institution, but all my credit and charge cards to date (Visa, Mastercard, and
AMEX) have always followed the same convention of expiry date formatting on the
physical card, which is MM/YY.

However, more often than not, the input fields on payment processing forms don't
map to what is on my credit card.  I've come across so many (I'm sure that they
are well intentioned) so-called 'friendly formats' that provide drop-downs of
the full or partial month name spelled out and the full year (as mentioned
above) e.g. August 2004.  Now, in other cases, it may support the user to
provide such a format, but in this context it just means that I have to do the
unnecessary mental calculations to work out that, for example, 08/04 is August 2004.

Best regards,

Ash Donaldson
"It depends."
User Experience Designer

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