Inhuman time scales

Error message reading" Error 302007: The 'From' date is earlier than 560 days from today's date. Please re-enter another date'"

Source: NAB (an Australian bank)

The most annoying aspect of this message is the reference to the date entered being “earlier than 560 days from today’s date,” which leaves the user with the task of figuring out a date that is less than 560 days in the past.

How hard would it have been to avoid the error by specifying the earliest date adjacent to the field itself? Or to specify the earliest date in the error message? Or to use a human-interpretable date limit like “2 years” (or even “a year and a half”).

The other faults with the message are relatively trivial in comparison:

  • The message begins with “Error 302007,” which is irrelevant to customers.
  • “From today’s date” is less clear than “in the past” (and is arguably ambiguous).
  • The word “re-enter” is less accurate and less clear than “enter”.