Use the timestamp that’s most appropriate to your users' needs. Relative timestamps are easier for users to read, so we recommend them for most use cases.
Timestamps should always be accompanied by a label that clearly and consistently describes what event the timestamp references. You can display a timestamp label with the timestamp, above it as a heading (such as the key in a key-value pair), or as a column header in a table.
For example: Resource edited
Source of change
When it’s important to identify who or what made a change, add the user or system's name after the timestamp and link to its profile.
Relative timestamps for events in the past use the format: [number] [unit of time] ago
For example: 36 minutes ago
Use the plural form of the time unit when necessary.
For example: 1 year or 2 years
When the event is happening in the future, use the format: In [number] [unit of time]
For example: In 36 minutes
Relative timestamp units
Use the level of granularity appropriate for the event.
0 – 59 seconds
1 – 59 minutes
# minutes ago
1 – 24 hours
# hours ago
1 – 31 days
# days ago
1 – 4 weeks
# weeks ago
1 – 12 months
# months ago
More than 12 months
# years ago
Absolute timestamps in the US, Canada, Palau, Micronesia, and the Philippines use this format: "Month DD, YYYY, hh:mm (UTC±h:mm)".
For example: January 31, 2010, 14:32 (UTC+3:30)
For additional timestamp locale formats, you can use localization libraries.
ISO timestamps use the ISO 8601 format: YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss±hh:mmZ
For example: 2010-01-31T14:32:35+03:00
In the ISO timestamp, T is used as a divider between the date and time and Z is the zone designator for the zero UTC offset. If the timestamp is doesn't require time granularity, only display the date portion of the timestamp.
For example: 2010-01-31
Since relative dates are easier to read, we recommend using them in most situations.
When reporting usage for billing, relative timestamps should use the same time unit as the resource is being billed at. For example, for a resource billed by the hour, use 32 hours, not "1 day, 8 hours".
Don't abbreviate the words in timestamps. For example, always useJanuary, not"Jan", andseconds not "sec".
Use the following format: [Noun] [verb] where [Noun] is the resource, item, or task, and [verb] is the event that occurred or will occur.
For example:Endpoint created, Template edited, or Scan terminates.
For events that occurred in the past, use past tense.
For example:Certificate expired
For events that occur in the future, use future tense.
For example: Certificate expiring
Don't include "date", "time", or "timestamp" in the label (with one exception, below).
For example:Use Role modified instead of Role modified date
In tables, where you report the status of a number of resources, processes, or activities that won't all begin or end at the same time, use the format: [noun] [verb] time
For example: Training job start time or Training job end time
Add "last" to a label only when the event can reoccur and users need to know the most recent occurrence.
For example: Role last modified
Source of change
Use the format: [label] [timestamp] by [name]. The name is the user or service that made the change.