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I'm currently experimenting with lists and I would like to know if presenting multi-line information in a list format gives bad user experience.

Take for example if we have a record of restaurants. Would it better to only present only the restaurant name or would it be better to present the cuisine and address together with the restaurant name in multi-line format? Would the latter provide bad user experience?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Multiline formatted lists don't inherently lead to a bad user experience. The combination of typography and layout will make or break a list item with many data points.

There are examples of multiline lists used as navigation with four or or more data points in stock apps. See the attached screens.

Both have the advantage of larger touch areas for improved usability. The left example is used primarily for navigation and has four data points. It is easy to read and understand it's function. The right example has six data points and has a few functions. It serves as a more complete high level quote for the user, it also serves as navigation. Taping the list item leads to stock details, however tapping the green column changes the data shown in that column. Compared side by side, you can see the differences in layout as each list serves similar but different use cases for the user.

Stock apps w/ multiline data lists

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You definitely bring better user experience taking into account user task and context of use.

Taking your restaurant example, which task does user want to accomplish? Lets say, he wants to find nearest pizza restaurants. Then relevant information for the list items could be restaurant's name, relevant distance to it and maybe rating. List items also are sorted by distanse. These are solid information convincing user to choose some item. Such choose is smart and have sense for user! Good UX!

Displaying only restaurant's name you rely on user guess of name familiarity. This option brings bad user experience.

So, step back from aesthetics to user needs. Define the solution and then polish it with aesthetics.

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