I have a table that has a couple of relatively short columns and one column witha long text. (See example at the bottom.)

The idea is the user can scan through each entry for comparison. Now, in the case of the relevant experience it seems very hard to read through the large block of text.

Is there a better way to lay this out in the table? I thought of character limiting the text but then it might not make sense and also there would need to be some sort of UI feature to expand it? I'm not really sure what the best UX would be here.

Does anyone have any ideas on how this could be improved?

screenshot of the data table


2 Answers 2


It seems table is not the best solution for the task. Indeed, table is great for scanning, because it contains highly structured data. So the data itself should be suitable for table, too.

Big amount of text is not suitable for the table cell:

  • it doesn't allow to scan through it, as it requires more cognitive processing
  • small real estate of the cell doesn't allow to provide good readability for the text


Possible solution is using a Card view pattern, which has advantages:

  • presents data in structured way, placing each data chunk at fixed places. This allows to process data rather quick
  • provides good readability, as there are a lot of space for the large text
  • supports mobile devices, as Card view fits small screens very well
  • organization and navigation within a set of cards are possible with filtering, sorting, and search tools

enter image description here


I would recommend you to prioritise all these fields. If the idea is to scan and compare, I think that column with "Relevant experience" is difficult to compare since probably won't have all kind of information in all of them. In other hand the other fields are quite easy to scan and compare.

One solution could be to make every row clickable and then open the description when the user clicks. In this way the user can open maybe some of them and it will be easy to compare and also to read since you will have more space. This option gives you more freedom in case you want to add more information or the text is very long (so the table won't lose balance).

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