For displaying of audit logs, is it better to show date and time on separate lines?



  • I have to design a page with a table for an audit log, and one of the columns is the Timestamp. I am torn on how to handle this however, and I find examples of both on the web.

    A) Without line break

    2020-12-20  01:59:20 GMT+8
    

    or

    B) With line break

    2020-12-20
    01:59:20 GMT+8
    

    What would be the best practice in this case?



  • I'd definitely go for option A. It makes it much easier to see that certain events happened close together, as can be seen from this example:

    2020-12-20  02:45:30 GMT+8
    2020-12-20  01:59:30 GMT+8
    2020-12-20  01:59:26 GMT+8
    2020-12-20  01:59:24 GMT+8
    2020-12-20  01:59:20 GMT+8
    2020-12-20  00:45:30 GMT+8
    
    2020-12-20
    02:45:30 GMT+8
    2020-12-20
    01:59:30 GMT+8
    2020-12-20 
    01:59:26 GMT+8
    2020-12-20 
    01:59:24 GMT+8
    2020-12-20
    01:59:20 GMT+8
    2020-12-20
    00:45:30 GMT+8
    

    If you lack the horizontal space for this, consider dropping the timezone indication (but show it in the table footer), use a shorter date time format (e.g. "Dec 20, 01:59") or do use option B, but show the date only when it changes, e.g.

    2020-12-21
    08:15:10 GMT+8
    2020-12-20
    02:45:30 GMT+8
    01:59:30 GMT+8
    01:59:26 GMT+8
    01:59:24 GMT+8
    01:59:20 GMT+8
    00:45:30 GMT+8
    2020-12-19
    16:15:10 GMT+8
    

    The ability to quickly compare them matters less when showing only a single log, e.g. on a detail page or as a tooltip.


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