Lately there has been a purge towards displaying posts in form of columned cards, a card with title, description and a small thumbnail, notably Digg, Google plus communities. Like this,

Columned display of Digg

Though displaying posts in a very simple linear manner like in most of forums, hacker news, or reddit is still very dominant.

I am trying to make a new kind of forum and I am confused how should I go for displaying topics. Is it advisable to go for the former? What are possible UX concerns with it?

  • 3
    Add some screen shots and/or wireframes. The sites you linked to might not be the same when someone reads this question in the future. Aug 22, 2013 at 10:22
  • The decision greatly depends on if and what kind of images each entry will have. Wireframes and/or more context about your topics would be great.
    – smoca
    Aug 22, 2013 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


Each of the two has it advantages and disadvantages.

This layout issue is similar to text layout, where a single column text of is more readable - you don't need to move your head and eyes as much (down and to the beginning of the line), since there are less rows, however, the multiple text columns layout looks more aesthetic - it appears like less text. Relevant articles [1] [2]

Relevant diagram in case the links break or in case you just can't be bothered to open them :-) : Words per minute dependent of number of columns and justification of text
(Source: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/06/text-columns-how-long-is-too-long.html)

From a responsive point of view, it is best to adapt the content (number and width of columns) to the actual window width and zoom, that way it looks good whether you have a full screen window, two windows side by side, a tablet in landscape mode, a tablet in portrait mode, a phone in either and so on.

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