Usability of date fields in a non-latin language

Posted on Apr 17, 2017

i’m not going to lie – the thought of trying to find my way around chinese websites was daunting, especially on a mobile.

For the most part, the websites I interacted with had english translations, or some level or chinglish. 

my fears were mainly unfounded. 

but i did come across on example that i found particularly interesting. entering dates 

Dates

it can sometimes be difficul to figure out what format a website would like you to enter a date; especially if the company isn’t british or american. is it “day, month, year” or “month, year, day”?

many websites get around this potential cause for confusion by spelling out the month. This can work, except if you spell it out in chinese. 


thankfully, it wasn’t too much of an obstacle to get around because it was easy enough to guess  that the “first item was january and the twelve is december”  so with a little cognitive effort i was able to navigate my way around all the date fields (there were quite a few). it also helped that once the selection had been made, the form field displayed all numerical values – putting my mind at rest that i’d done it right.