IUC 34 submission was declined

Well, the IUC committee made its decision. Although I was initially a little disappointed, the committee declined my session proposal. That’s probably the best; the article was a rehash of an older subject that I already presented long ago. I refreshed the original article and thought I could recycle it. Ha…the IUC wasn’t fooled. The said “NO!”

That’ll teach me. Next time I’ll provide all original content, and I already know what I’ll propose. Timezone selection for web apps. OK, that’s easy you say. Easy peasy. Well, it’s really not. It turns out that it’s pretty easy to pick a locale and time format for a user on the network. But what time zone should you select when displaying time?

That question isn’t always easy to answer. Lots of factors come into play including the locale of the user, the location of the event, the primary location of the site. Which to choose?

I’ll get this written up if you think it’s an interesting subject. Let me know.

These characters aren’t exotic!

Recently I had the opportunity to sign up for health benefits with a 3rd party site that manages these things for my employer. Sites that collect data often limit the set of characters that you must use for each field. That’s reasonable for numeric fields, date fields, etc. After all, you don’t want invalid data in a field, and you’d like to help users enter correct data wherever possible.

However, I think it’s unreasonable to limit characters that are legitimately used in a field type. For example, these characters show up all the time within perfectly valid names:

  • HYPHEN –

Come on…in 2010 these are not exotic characters. They exist in all kinds of unimpressive, common names….like O’Conner for example! In the figure below, the data collection form dislikes the apostrophe. Come on, it’s part of my name.

Unfortunately this is all too common. Do you have a problematic name? Share it with me…what name causes you grief in online forms?