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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

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2 Answers 2

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

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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
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found this great article to answer my question http://baymard.com/blog/avoid-multi-column-forms

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