I have a feeling that if you make card view or similar object that represents an item from the real world, such as a 'car' or 'person', then it causes less cognitive load than a table view - except when people specifically need a table view, such as if they need to compare different properties etc.
I have been trying to find theory that addresses this but without luck. All the material I find is about improving tables or how to fit more data by presenting it in a card view.
Perhaps I do not know the correct terms to use to describe this phenomenon and I am hoping for help here from someone who can refer to any existing theory that addresses this topic.
I am not looking to answer "which is better?" as the answer to that is clearly "it depends on the purpose".
Now the purpose in this example is "I need to do something with MickJigger" and I think intuitively that it will require less cognitive load to understand that the square around his name represents him.
The purpose is not for example "Find MickJigger in the list", for that the table might be better or a search or something. So I am talking about the situation when we are looking at some information and trying to understand it.
I think there is 1 step of reasoning required to understand that a person is represented by a card and 2 steps of reasoning to understand a person is represented by a row in a table.
If the question is too subtle/nuanced, you could also answer "when is a card better" and then I might be able to extrapolate the answer I'm looking for.