I would suggest to use the 25 px area as a "Card". By terming it as card - I mean to physical deck of cards. Now keeping that as a metaphor - Ideally would have two sides of a card. In the digital world by touch the card flips. To confirm the selection of this "Person" "MS" - either use a slider to ON/OFF, or swipe right (As to moving it to bin for further action) or some rationale approach that best suits the context (not descriptive as this would be a subject of its own)
Now the front facing may have your intial "MS" or "MS
2" or "MS
3", am using
- numbers or shortened first two letters "Ma" "Me" here as a sub/super-script to decodify the difference.
- Direction - Can you change the horizontal direction flow of letters to vertical?
- You may either have different typeface to differentiate different people as another idea.This may reduce the clutter feel but provision's with more behavioral attribute to identify person through implicit means.
- Combi-of these any options
Since you neglect to use colors - am trying to stiffen the idea of Brand identity here by using typefac-ial differences. I do not have a research currently to support this. But over a period of time if you associate a typeface to a person - more or else that gets imbibed to the brand identity or personal identity of the person - just how faces, colors, dresses define a person.
Now the back facing of the card - this is simply an animated transition by using simple JS code on the app ( or some other means), the card flips (remember - flipping only if in need or at worse confusion arise), while flipped you may show a Gravatar or specific detail of the person that further cracks the puzzle or decodifies one. - Better off that this step is an additional flavor to help confusion, but to kill monotonous way of differentiating - we are trying to build experiences that are sleek and nice.