Several factors influence businesses around the world and global economy is one of them
It is a widely used term for inter-connected worldwide economic activities, helping people expand their customer base across borders.
Today there are limitless ways to connect to customers but having an online presence is the easiest way.
Though there are numerous channels like social media for this, nothing can beat the perks of web apps for eCommerce. This makes the work more challenging for developers as they strive to develop a product that satisfies both the users and the entrepreneurs alike.
Time Zones – How can they be a Problem?
Developing a product/app likely to be available across countries is motivating until you have to manage the ordeal of time zones.
Time zones are areas that follow uniform standard time for all their social, legal and commercial purposes.
So the users who interact with each other and are in different time zones can be difficult to manage.
Why is Time Zone an Issue in Angular Apps?
Webapps are the new trend as they offer better UX and functions. Although there are many technologies for developing a Web App, Angular is the most preferred for web apps especially single-page apps.
The customers need to interact. So anything that creates dissonance among them can be a problem!
Many functions in web apps also need a timestamp. But this time may not be correct for all the customers if you do not consider time zones while developing.
Using a universal time or timestamps like posted minutes/hours ago can solve a few problems. But, the complex functions need a more reliable way out.
Let us see two instances where these can be disastrous.
Due to the increasing number of institutions using their custom applications for online classes, their popularity has increased.
Thanks to these, the students can now keep up with their classes irrespective of where they are.
Though these make life easier for the students, sometimes it can become a task for the developers to make sure they are flawlessly able to do so.
But some situations make it impossible like:
Suppose a student has classes at 10 AM EST, 11 AM EST and 2 PM EST every day.
But he has to travel back home in a different time zone due to some issues.
He should be able to keep up with this curriculum in an ideal situation but imagine this happens:
He has an important test at 1 PM. So, he logs in to his virtual classroom 10 minutes before. But what he sees is this:
Your test has expired!
Not only this, but he also finds out that he has missed all his lectures!
Looks like a nightmare? But the sad truth is that this can happen to many students.
You might be wondering how is this possible. The answer is – time zones. 1 pm is the time in his current time zone – CST, but the exact time of the test is 1 PM EST, which is CST+1.
So are online classes for travelling students impossible? No. Add simple functions as given below in your application to avoid this trouble.
Give the users an option to choose the time zone they are in each time they log in. This will enable them to see the exact time of the test/classes according to their time zone.
Like for the above student, the test time will automatically change to noon CST to match the actual time of the test.
All you have to do is make the relevant changes in the back-end to execute these actions to resolve this issue.
Another example where this difference in time zone can become a challenge for you is while developing an app where users make appointments. Here any differences can turn disastrous as it can result in missed appointments and business.
Suppose you have developed an app that lets employees talk to clients around the world. Now imagine someone in the business development team using this to make and schedule calls to international clients.
He has a meeting scheduled at 3 pm EST but is in an area that falls in the central time zone.
So he logs in to the app at 3 pm CST but sees that he has missed his meeting.
The meeting expired as the eastern time zone is one hour ahead of the central.
Here, the clients can also face trouble if a person in the EST time zone schedules a meeting with a client in the Central Time Zone.
Imagine a client asks him to schedule a meeting at 4 pm. He will schedule it at 4 pm CST, his time zone. But the client meant 4 pm EST, the time at his place. Here, though both are right in their place, it can lead to discrepancies and missed opportunities.
Just like in the first example here also you can avoid this inconvenience by giving the users an option to choose their time zone each time they log in.
So when the professional above logins and chooses the right time zone, he will be able to see the actual time for the meeting – 2 pm CST instead of 3.
You can also send the users a notification about the time zone difference, asking them to choose the respective time zone.
Giving an option to the clients to enter their preferred time (including time zone) can also do wonders to solve the problem of mismatching time zones like in the second instance.
Resolving Time Zone Issue in Angular Web Apps
‘Difficult problems need smart solutions’ the saying holds here too. So if you are working on an app where customers book appointments, always let the customers choose the preferred time zone to book the appointment.
It is the luxury of the present times that we can trade regardless of the borders.
Though countries have made this easier by easing the restrictions, the time zone difference is still unresolved.
Angular gives the freedom to write lesser code, making it cost-effective as well as time-saving. However, there is one thing that even it can not help you with – the time zone issue.
Luckily, there are some steps you can follow to resolve this fateful issue.
- Give the users an option to choose the time zone at their place.
- The users should be able to select a time zone whenever they enter time or schedule a meeting.
- Always pick the current time zone of the system of the users. Show it in a popup whenever it changes.
- If possible, the app should always show the current time zone. The users should always know the time zone they are currently using.
- When an app is for a single time zone, use a specific time zone on both – the front-end and back-end.
- Always use moment lib front and back so in future requirements. Since if the client makes timezone changes, you can easily handle this with the moment library.
- Set timezone for calendar picker or date picker also or it makes create issue in-app flow.
Using these can give the users the freedom to attend virtual meetings/classes at the correct time regardless of their time zone differences.
The key is that users must be able to toggle between timezone whenever they want only then they will be able to see the right time. After all a stitch in time saves nine!