User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am currently building a data entry application and a lot of our data is contained in Div's on a page. Right now all of our data is listed horizontally because I feel that it is more readable and is easier to browse for the data. However by doing so we have a lot of white space.

By switching to a two column layout would it make the application more confusing and less usable?

data list

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Generally it is easier to work with data that is listed vertically as a list in a single column.

A list is a simpler pattern for the eye to follow, as it is a top to bottom flow. With two columns, eyes have to follow a z-pattern, which is more tiring.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I don't understand what the image is supposed to convey? – Marjan Venema Apr 18 '13 at 22:17
@MarjanVenema They are supposed to show eye movement patterns for various layouts. I should make that clearer and try find a better example – JohnGB Apr 18 '13 at 22:19
@MarjanVenema I hope that is clearer now. – JohnGB Apr 18 '13 at 22:24
Oh yes, much. Thanks. – Marjan Venema Apr 19 '13 at 9:07

found this great article to answer my question

share|improve this answer
You beat me to the article :) At least that is where I got my image from. – JohnGB Apr 18 '13 at 21:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.