There seems to be a popular design trend where most apps only display how long ago something happened:
- just now
- 4 hours ago
- 2 day ago
I refer to that as “fuzzy time.” And I love that it adds context to the old school date/time stamp.
But why is the trend to remove the actual date/time stamp and only use fuzzy time?
In my opinion, this is a classic example of form over function: “It looks prettier when there is less text” is the standard explanation.
“I hate that this app shows me BOTH the time, AND how long ago it happened.” said no user ever.
And that’s why in Contatta, you’ll always see dates AND the “fuzzy time” because BOTH provide significant context, especially as the item ages.
- Tue Jul 23 at 12:22p (just now)
- Tue Jul 23 at 8:18a (4 hrs ago)
- Sun Jul 21 at 3:45p (2 days ago)
What do you think? Isn’t it so much more helpful to see both?
In a related note…
I also don’t like how the battery percentage is not displayed by default on the iPhone.
Again, only displaying the icon may look prettier to a designer, but “I hate that the iPhone shows me a battery indicator icon AND the percentage of how full it is,” said no user ever.
Sometimes, we designers take too much out.