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In which situation should you use gridview or staggered gridview?

Personally, I find grid view neater and easier to scan. But it seems like a lot of sites nowadays (Pinterest, etsy, etc) are using staggered grid view. Maybe for the reason that they want to show the whole picture rather than crops but doesn't that make scanning a little harder?

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It's very project-specific and depends on priorities.

In some cases priority = aligned, comparable presentation (I'd call it "outer context" - especially when you present products in an e-shop, where comparing additional elements, like price, product name etc. is crucial): you should use grid view.

In some cases, though, priority = maximizing visibility of what is on the images (especially in case of Pinterest, where presenting the imagery in full form is crucial, as this is what users come for; let's call it "inner context"): you should go for staggered grid view.

So, you need to answer the question first: Which is more important for user/conversion in case of particular project? If outer context > inner context - you choose standard grid view, otherwise, you should consider staggered grid view.

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The essential difference between the two layouts : gridview is for navigation, staggered gridview is for browsing.

In classic newspapers you had a combination of the two types : staggered for the articles, normal within the article.

First the reader browses for what is interesting to her, then she needs an organized layout to properly read.

When the user does not know what she is looking for staggered might be a good option. When she does a more organized layout might be better.

  • I know more site's where the Gridview is used for the content than for the navigation. You can't say that in general! And Gridview is surely not only for navigations! – Michael Schmidt Feb 28 '14 at 10:03
  • I am answering in the context of this very question. But you are right my anwser is a little to straightforward and can lead to misunderstanding. I'll edit. – Gildas Frémont Feb 28 '14 at 10:10

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