I am currently building a data entry application and a lot of our data is contained in Div's on a page. Right now all of our data is listed horizontally because I feel that it is more readable and is easier to browse for the data. However by doing so we have a lot of white space.

By switching to a two column layout would it make the application more confusing and less usable?

data list

2 Answers 2


Generally it is easier to work with data that is listed vertically as a list in a single column.

A list is a simpler pattern for the eye to follow, as it is a top to bottom flow. With two columns, eyes have to follow a z-pattern, which is more tiring.

enter image description here

  • 2
    I don't understand what the image is supposed to convey? Apr 18, 2013 at 22:17
  • @MarjanVenema They are supposed to show eye movement patterns for various layouts. I should make that clearer and try find a better example
    – JohnGB
    Apr 18, 2013 at 22:19
  • @MarjanVenema I hope that is clearer now.
    – JohnGB
    Apr 18, 2013 at 22:24
  • The answer is correct but the reasoning is just so wrong! The eyes move in a Z-pattern on the screen no matter what. Horizontal listing is bad because of many reasons but this ain't THE reason Jun 8, 2017 at 5:53

found this great article to answer my question http://baymard.com/blog/avoid-multi-column-forms

  • You beat me to the article :) At least that is where I got my image from.
    – JohnGB
    Apr 18, 2013 at 21:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.