Currently when I open my form, it has a big spread with like 20 or 30 rows that users sees. Like a big empty spreadsheet....well it looks "too white" to me, do you think is it a better UX design if I color alternating rows in the spread? And more importantly if this is what you suggest, I am also looking for some "documentation" from a big source like a text book! that can support this idea of coloring alternate rows in the spreadsheet...

  • There's not nearly enough information here. Can you show some screen shots? Wireframes? Why is a user greeted with 30 blank rows to begin with? Seems daunting. – DA01 Sep 11 '12 at 19:39
  • I will try to see if I can compile the application and take a screen shot of it, but just think of form that it has a spreadsheet in it, or just think of a page of a excel spreadsheet...it is just blank rows of a spread – Blake Sep 11 '12 at 19:45

Though the question question To use or not to use “Zebra Stripes”, or Alternating Row Colors for Tables does throw up some interesting points whether to use alternating rows or zebra rows for tables,(This article : 9 Useful Techniques for User-Friendly Tables does highlight some benefit for using striped or zebra tables)

When users scan a row, their eyes can easily trail off and accidentally fall into an adjacent row. The user needs a visual guide to help them stay on their row as they scan. Zebra strips help guide users as they move their eyes across each row. Each alternating row is a different shade so that users won’t mistake the row they’re looking at for an adjacent row.

I dont believe that it would serve much use in a blank spreadsheet.

The reason being while alternating rows help in providing a differentiation to the user as he scans from row to row and would help to perhaps zero in upon a specific point or row as needed, they might be particularly useful if there is content available in the rows.However having stripes in empty rows will convey no real information for the user and a differentiating color will not serve a purpose unless you are trying to help him determine the number of even numbered rows.

Here are some articles for you to read :

Zebra Striping: Does it Really Help?

User Experience Research - A Study of Zebra Striping

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