I have a very long list of users! It’s a user management page for IT people. It’s not Pinterest, It’s not a Photos gallery, movies or books! These are users, I can click on them, and can perform many actions as delete, or assign to groups, etc.
Users list, 1000’s of them, can’t be on a “Tiles” view Is that right?

Tiles View Table View

  • Why not both and let the user choose? – Mayo Feb 1 '17 at 17:02
  • 1
    Generally speaking, "let the user choose" should be a measure of last resort, this to make sure that we don't pretend to solve every design dilemma by adding another checkbox in the Settings page. It's definitely not a "why not" question, it's a "why yes" one. – Vitaly Mijiritsky Feb 1 '17 at 19:48

Your phrasing creates a strong impression that this is a discussion that you're having at work, and you're looking for arguments to support your claim that the tiles view is inappropriate. It seems that you're basing it on the assumption that a tiles view is suitable for "cool", light and consumer-oriented contexts, while a grid view is suitable for "heavier", professional, "enterprisey" settings.

The answer has little to do with the consumer vs. enterprise angle. It depends on the needs and the data. As Alvaro pointed out, sorting and filtering are much more native to a grid structure than to tiles. Other needs which might support a grid approach - a toolbar, a master-detail layout, the need for multiple selection, etc.

As to the data - if, for example, you have medium-to-long strings of text, it will be easier to display them in a tiles view. Numbers are easier in a grid view. Self-explanatory data is great for a tiles view, where you don't usually have labels. Data requiring labels fits well in a grid view where you have column headers.

More abstractly speaking, a tiles view is more "holistic", it gives you a block of data containing all the data about a person in a friendly format. You don't really get that with a grid, because you always see a couple of rows besides the one that you need. Also you often need to scan horizontally to see all the columns. A grid view is more analytical, it allows for easier visual scanning across rows.


If you have thousands of elements (users in your case), and you use several columns then you will have to deal with sorting conflicts.

Should elements be ordered:

a   b   c
d   e   f
g   h   i
j   k   l


a   g   m
b   h   n
c   i   o
d   j   p


In any of the above it will be easy to confuse the order and make the user scroll back to find the element he wants. If we consider pagination in the above examples, then things get even more confusing.

So better use only one column.

Also, using a table permits sorting based on the values each column has.

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