after an argument with my wife where I missed to notice to buy the milk out of a short message she sent me, the following question came to mind.

Reading an interrupted message (where each line of the message is interrupted by an enter) is to my opinion harder to read than a continuous message.

For example

"hey honey

Don't forget to buy



Did you forget to turn off the washing machine

Do you want ice cream?


Sugar "


" Don't forget to buy Juice, Milk Did you forget to turn off the washing machine. Do you want ice cream? Tomatoes, Sugar "

In my opinion, the latter example is easier to comprehend than the first while you are standing in the aile.

  1. Am I correct?
  2. What is the explanation? UX wise

The good news for your marriage is, both of you are correct.

It depends on user context.

  • If the reader is "in flow", by which I mean she is reading the messages narrative continuously, then sentences are easier to read because she is already processing left to right, top to bottom. This is particularly true if the list of items is less than the magic number 7.

  • If the list is too large, then inline text becomes harder to process.

  • If your goal is to not only to communicate the list but also have the reader commit it to memory, then lists are generally better because they visually chunk the information.

  • A shopping list is usually something you will want to refer back to later (eg when you're at the supermarket). Here, you will be referring to the list out of flow and may need to locate specific items. A line by line list is easier to navigate for this purpose.

  • thanks. However you didn't answer my question. the topic at hand is the our ability to read and comprehend. the "shopping list" is not the issue but merely an example for an interrupted text (I need to find a better name for that)
    – AsafBO
    Mar 10 '15 at 10:46
  • @AsafBO I think you need to update your question because most of it is a list of items. A sloppy question just wastes the community's time.
    – tohster
    Mar 10 '15 at 19:41
  • The question's subject clearly states the comparison. the list is an example but not the issue.
    – AsafBO
    Mar 11 '15 at 11:48
  • You can certainly dismiss my suggestion but the resounding silence to your question speaks for itself.
    – tohster
    Mar 11 '15 at 16:24

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