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In the mobile app we are currently working on, we have a table view that shows certain information. When you press any of the cells, another view shows expanding the info. The regular behavior pretty much.

The thing is that we have some duplicate information in both views so the user can see some of the information at one glance. In turn, this makes view more cluttered with data.

I don't completely agree with this approach because I think that mobile users are more accustomed to going through several views until they find what they need. So here is my question:

What is worse in terms of mobile user experience, having a too crowded view or having information that is one more view away?

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2 Answers

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Less is more.

Although it's tempting to show all the info, keep it more simple. The less the user has to take in at a time the better. And as you stated, the other info is just one click away anyway.

A great article that talks about this is Less is More: Simplifying Your User Experience

"No desert until you finish your meal.There is a common sense approach to how you are sold at a restaurant. Much like how they stage your dining experience, in web and mobile experiences, our approach needs to be as equally simplistic. This is where the idea of less is more comes into play. It’s centered around the notion that we don’t want to make our customers think more than they have to. The fewer decisions, the better.

This becomes easier to accomplish when we consider all of our customer touch points throughout the decision making process and specifically what they’ll be looking for at that point. With how connected most people are now, an important part of this is recognizing what platform they’re using and what specific information they’re looking for. An example of this would be someone looking up your website on their way to your store in hopes of finding your address.

Ask yourself the following questions when approaching UX design:

What can we take out of the experience to make it easier for our users to make decisions?

Are we presenting them with a desert option too soon in the process? What options and upgrades would be better suited for another menu at a later time?

How do we keep them engaged through the whole experience?"

Or even more specifically, just enough is more. As pointed out by living legend Milton Glaser:

"Less is not necessarily more. Being a child of modernism I have heard this mantra all my life. Less is more. One morning upon awakening I realised that it was total nonsense, it is an absurd proposition and also fairly meaningless. But it sounds great because it contains within it a paradox that is resistant to understanding. But it simply does not obtain when you think about the visual of the history of the world. If you look at a Persian rug, you cannot say that less is more because you realise that every part of that rug, every change of colour, every shift in form is absolutely essential for its aesthetic success. You cannot prove to me that a solid blue rug is in any way superior."

But in more cases than not, more elements have to be stripped out of a design or layout to achieve just enough.


So: As long as it is easy for your users to figure out where the info is, it shouldn't be a problem. When they want/need to see it, they can choose to do so.

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Or perhaps more succinctly: Just enough is more. kottke.org/02/05/just-enough-is-more –  agib Jun 13 '12 at 11:15
    
@agib Very true. And words from a very wise man. –  Matt Rockwell Jun 13 '12 at 11:17
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@agib I edited my answer to include this insight, thanks! –  Matt Rockwell Jun 13 '12 at 11:22
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You only need to show what is important in the decision making process of selecting a cell.

Another option would be different ways to sort the table. Instead of showing age, gender, rank, etc., allow them to sort by these categories.

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