Grinding to a halt on 30 boxes

I’ve just signed up to the public beta of 30 boxes. It looks great, it’s social media elements are gorgeous, and it’s fast.

And, as it stands, I won’t be using it. For two reasons: I can’t import my existing calendar into it (and the days when I would happily spend hours rekeying data into apps just because, you know, I could are long gone). But more importantly, it uses U.S. date formats and, as far as I can see, there’s no way to change that.

This seems a bit petty, doesn’t it? But the point of this post is to emphasise how petty design details such as this are really, really important to some users.

The U.S. date format of month/day/year is a mystery to most Brits (and, I suspect, to most Anglo-Saxons and western Euros). It’s illogical – day/month/year at least has internal logic – and, as far as I can tell, unique to America. Everytime I come across it, my concentration collapses as I try and parse the format.

So a calendar app based on month/day/year isn’t going to fly. I’m going to find it annoying very quickly. On the upside, when an app gives me the option to choose my date format (as iCal does, and I’m sure other things do too) I almost instantly love it. Why? Two reasons: it’s a smart thing to offer, and it makes me feel that the person or company who built the app is aware of a world outside the States.

2 thoughts on “Grinding to a halt on 30 boxes

  1. Pingback: davblog
  2. Its actually even more Americo-centric than just the date format. When users in Australia, like me, and other timezones sufficiently far enough in advance of the US east coast add a new event the event ends up on the day before. Looks like 30 months are just ignoring the browsers timezone settings (and you can’t set your timezone).

    It’d be nice if developers who create applications which are likely to be used outside of their own country paid a little bit of attention to internationalisation!

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