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working with the web

Timezone awareness = good business

At Clever Starfish, we use 88Miles for our time tracking. Created by friend and colleague Myles Eftos, 88Miles is a simple web based punch in/punch out system that lets us keep track of billable time.

Recently, Myles rolled out some updates. Knowing ahead of time that there would be downtime, he added a little message to the sidebar for logged in users like so:

88miles

What blew me away was the “your local time” bit. 88Miles knows my timezone, so it’s telling me when the downtime will be in terms that I can grasp straight away. That’s good usability and good business.

All this reminded me of another application that we use in our business – MailBuild. This is a fantastic newsletter system that I can’t rave enough about – it really has every possible base covered. MailBuild and it’s older sibling Campaign Monitor (similar service, slightly different market) are made by a Sydney company, Freshview. On their contact page, they have the following information:

freshview

So if you happen to be in another country – and I dare say a large proportion of their customer base is in the United States – you know not only what their business hours are, but what the current time is in their timezone, so you have some idea of what kind of response to expect to support requests, etc. For a service-based operation, that’s good business. I wish some US-based providers that we use would realise that the world doesn’t revolve around their hours.

3 Comments

  1. Excellent idea! I suggested that to the Twitter folk a week ago … no response yet.

  2. Very nice! And handy too, much easier than trying to figure out when its 10pm PST or something.

    I work with people across a lot of time zones. I use the Foxclocks addon in my browser to keep track of times in the different locations I deal with.

  3. @Nat: you expect a response from Twitter? Cmon, it’s hard enough getting a response from their servers let alone from their people…

    @Ian: thanks for stopping by! I deal with people in different timezones too, and I used to use FoxClocks, but now that I’ve upgraded to Vista, I can have three timezones just on the Windows clock, which is really handy.