I have view pane in my application to give flexibility to the end user to choose preferred view - Horizontal, Vertical and Split. I am looking forward for the alternates of view pane, I guess most of the users stick to one view only with any specific application, how do I find out which view would be best fit and reduce confusions.

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  • Highly depends on the contents and information flow. Further how about A-B testing and user feedback?
    – Harshal
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:08
  • It is unclear what you are asking. Are you interested in a comparison between the horizontal/vertical/split layouts, or in an alternative to such layouts altogether?
    – Izhaki
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:38
  • @lzhaki - comparison and alternative both Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


Users always prefer 1 view. The most efficient view.

Now let's define the most efficient way. The fundamental principle for efficient information display is arranging it in the way that is most easy to understand, and quickly to overview. (I don't know what your application does, so I exclude interaction optimization from my answer) Now you have provided two empty screens, and basically asking which one is better. Right now they're absolutely equal. You need to optimize your view to your content, and of course to the workflow.

About A-B testing

Although A-B testing as was suggested in the comments may be useful, I'm not a fan of that. A-B testing is for the developers that have no idea what they're doing. It's basically guessing, with relatively little learning from it. That's because an average user does not have the deep Usability&UX knowledge to explain or even understand the real reason behind his frustrations, and can't come up with a most elegant alternative.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. - Henry Ford

To understand what the user really says you have to be skilled enough to understand the needs, factors triggering positive and negative emotions, principles of learning process, the workings of focusing and changing user's attention, associations (color and shape psychology, memories etc.). But when you become that kind of an expert, you don't make a concept B. You optimize your concept A to its maximum efficiency.

If you have static type of content, I suggest you take your content and analyze it. Or let an UI expert give you an advise on that. If you have no control or insight in the content (which is really rare), then providing a setting for different views may actually be useful.

Important note: If, for example, you provide two views and the default will be the less efficient one. Users that did not discover the other ones will get used to it over time, and you will get trouble presenting them later with the more efficient view. As a result, you may end up disappointing them with a better one.

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