24 votes

Two Timespan suggestions

I've been here all of 24 hours, so there may be good reasons for the current design decisions, but as a newbie, two things are making me a little crazy.

  1. Times in Days and Hours. When a post is new and active, "4 hours" makes sense. but "187 days, 4 hours?" That just makes it harder (at least for me) to spot "fresh" posts. I suggest dropping the hours on anything older than 1 or 2 days.
  2. The dropdown "Activity from" goes from "3 days" to "all time". This seems extreme. Yes, I see (and tried) the custom, but its not intuitive, and its not fast, compared to selecting from a dropdown. I would like to see "week" and "month" as options below 3 days, because good conversations often evolve at a thoughtful pace, but I'm less interested in commenting on something 187 days old vs 1 week old.

This is a nice place, well-designed, and it's great to see troll-free convo's taking place! The lack of Karma hunters is also welcome! I hope it works out!

19 comments

  1. [18]
    Deimos Link
    Thanks, good suggestions. I agree that the longer timespans are pretty awkward. I've been thinking about two other possible changes to them: Add "months" and "years" possibilities. These wouldn't...

    Thanks, good suggestions.

    I agree that the longer timespans are pretty awkward. I've been thinking about two other possible changes to them:

    1. Add "months" and "years" possibilities. These wouldn't be perfectly accurate because the number of days in a month/year varies a little, but that's not really a big deal. Then instead of "187 days, 4 hours ago", you'd see "6 months, 7 days ago".
    2. Past a certain threshold (maybe a couple of weeks or so), just start showing the actual date instead of an "ago"-style time. So it would just show "June 3, 2018" or something similar.

    Any thoughts on either of those, compared to just changing to a bare "187 days ago"?

    10 votes
    1. J-Senior Link Parent
      I think older posts changing to a date is a good idea. People are generally better at placing a date than placing "10 months, 3 days".

      I think older posts changing to a date is a good idea. People are generally better at placing a date than placing "10 months, 3 days".

      13 votes
    2. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      I think that the site should switch to showing "months" when an item is more than 60 days old. And there's no need to be specific about it. Anything between 60 and 90 days old can be identified as...

      I think that the site should switch to showing "months" when an item is more than 60 days old. And there's no need to be specific about it. Anything between 60 and 90 days old can be identified as "2 months ago", clicking over to "3 months ago" at 91 days.

      On this note of specificity, I'd suggest showing only one unit of time per post. If it's less than an hour old, its age is shown in minutes; if it's less than a day old (but more than an hour), its age is shown in hours; if it's less than a week old (but more than a day), its age is shown in days; and so on. "3 days" is good enough. We don't need to see "3 days, 7 hours".

      Once an item is more than 1 year old, I think a specific date would be good.

      You could even go a step further and make this a user preference: show specific dates to people who select that, and show time elapsed to people who select that.

      5 votes
    3. [7]
      dubteedub Link Parent
      I would prefer showing something other than an exact date personally, but that could get clunky once the site gets to be old enough. It would be a bit odd seeing something like "1 year, 2 months,...

      I would prefer showing something other than an exact date personally, but that could get clunky once the site gets to be old enough.

      It would be a bit odd seeing something like "1 year, 2 months, 12 days ago".

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos Link Parent
        The way it's set up right now it will only ever display two "levels of precision", and only if they're "adjacent". That is, you'd never see something like "1 year, 2 months, 12 days ago", it would...

        The way it's set up right now it will only ever display two "levels of precision", and only if they're "adjacent".

        That is, you'd never see something like "1 year, 2 months, 12 days ago", it would be "1 year, 2 months ago". And you'd also never see anything like "1 year, 12 days ago". It would just say "1 year ago", until it reached the point where it could say "1 year, 1 month ago".

        8 votes
        1. dubteedub Link Parent
          ah, okay. That works for me then!

          ah, okay.

          That works for me then!

          1 vote
      2. [4]
        Petril Link Parent
        Can I ask why you don't like an exact date?

        Can I ask why you don't like an exact date?

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          dubteedub Link Parent
          It just seems weird to me. I am used to the days / hours thing at this point. For awhile we also had the date that different articles were posted, so if that was brought back, then there would be...

          It just seems weird to me. I am used to the days / hours thing at this point.

          For awhile we also had the date that different articles were posted, so if that was brought back, then there would be two different date / timestamps visible.

          Not to mention if it was an exact date, then if it was <1 day, then the front page would all just have today's date on it, rather than show how old the particular thread is.

          2 votes
          1. Deimos Link Parent
            I'd only want to switch to the exact date after a certain age threshold. So it would still display days/hours ago for the newer posts, then switch to showing an exact date instead once the time...

            I'd only want to switch to the exact date after a certain age threshold. So it would still display days/hours ago for the newer posts, then switch to showing an exact date instead once the time period got fairly long (weeks or months ago).

            3 votes
          2. Petril Link Parent
            That makes sense. Thanks for answering! I agree with Deimos about it changing to an exact date after a certain amount of time. *Ninja Edit: Didn't see that I commented the same thing Deimos had...

            That makes sense. Thanks for answering!

            Not to mention if it was an exact date, then if it was <1 day, then the front page would all just have today's date on it, rather than show how old the particular thread is.

            I agree with Deimos about it changing to an exact date after a certain amount of time.

            *Ninja Edit: Didn't see that I commented the same thing Deimos had already done.

            3 votes
    4. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      On further reflection, I think the threshold for switching to actual dates needs to be much shorter than a year. Recently, I've been looking at some old posts and I can't work out when 204 days...

      On further reflection, I think the threshold for switching to actual dates needs to be much shorter than a year. Recently, I've been looking at some old posts and I can't work out when 204 days ago was. Maybe it should switch over at 3 months.

      Or it could just be dates on everything. That would be consistent, at least.

      3 votes
    5. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      I see you've enacted dates for posts more than 7 days old. Good choice.

      I see you've enacted dates for posts more than 7 days old. Good choice.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos Link Parent
        Yeah, didn't seem worth making an announcement post about, but I decided to try it out yesterday. Do you think 7 days ago is a reasonable time to switch over to the absolute dates, or too quickly?

        Yeah, didn't seem worth making an announcement post about, but I decided to try it out yesterday. Do you think 7 days ago is a reasonable time to switch over to the absolute dates, or too quickly?

        1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          7 days might be a tad too quick. Maybe 30 days?

          7 days might be a tad too quick. Maybe 30 days?

          1 vote
    6. [3]
      doug3465 Link Parent
      I'd like it if it were X days up to 30, then X months up to 12, then X years with hover for exact date. Just what I'm used to from other sites.

      I'd like it if it were X days up to 30, then X months up to 12, then X years with hover for exact date. Just what I'm used to from other sites.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        anowlcalledjosh Link Parent
        I'm not a big fan of hover-for-exact-date, since you can't hover on mobile.

        I'm not a big fan of hover-for-exact-date, since you can't hover on mobile.

        5 votes
        1. haykam821 Link Parent
          Well, hover-for-exact-date already exists on Tildes. However, we could have click-to-switch-to-exact-date-or-a-preference for mobile.

          Well, hover-for-exact-date already exists on Tildes. However, we could have click-to-switch-to-exact-date-or-a-preference for mobile.

          1 vote
    7. Art-in-MT Link Parent
      I like the ideas for simplifying the accuracy. re: changing to the actual date as it ages: I don't like metrics that change scale on me - I would find it confusing, expecially if I sort in some...

      I like the ideas for simplifying the accuracy.
      re: changing to the actual date as it ages: I don't like metrics that change scale on me - I would find it confusing, expecially if I sort in some other order and the field position is then jumping back and forth between an actual date and a time-lapsed value. I feel like I have to be ready to think about something two different ways. But maybe that's just my OCD acting up.

      1 vote