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iOS provides two extremely similar UITableViewCell Styles and I'm looking for guidance on how to pick the right one.

Here's the documentation on each style:

Right Detail
A style for a cell with a label on the left side of the cell with left-aligned and black text; on the right side is a label that has smaller blue text and is right-aligned. The Settings application uses cells in this style.

Left Detail
A style for a cell with a label on the left side of the cell with text that is right-aligned and blue; on the right side of the cell is another label with smaller text that is left-aligned and black. The Phone/Contacts application uses cells in this style.

Can anyone give me what the thought process should be behind picking between those two specific styles? Ideally, I'd like to see a process for picking between the two styles in any scenario, but if you need the details of the specific UI I'm making...

I'm making an app that recommends what a person or group of people should do. To do so, it presents them with a table of 3 questions they need to answer:

  • Who - Tapping on it gives the user a list of contacts to pick from. Some examples of what the detail might say would be "Just Me", or "Me and Jon", or "Me, Jon, and Sue".
  • When - Tapping on it gives the user a date/time picker. Some examples of what the detail might say would be "ASAP", or "Today at 2:00 PM" or "Tomorrow at 7:00 PM".
  • Where - Tapping on it gives the user a map to specify the area where they want to do something. Some examples of what the detail might say would be "Near Here", or "Springfield, AS", or "Between Here and Springfield, AS".

My instinct says I want the Left Detail style, but I can't think of any specific/logical reason I should pick it over Right Detail.

Edit: The names of the two styles are fairly misleading - the label is always to the left of the detail, which is on the right. The difference is that with right detail, the detail is right aligned, while with left detail, the detail is left aligned. Here are example pictures of each style:

Left Detail - the details, in black, are left aligned.

enter image description here

Right Detail - the details, in gray, are right aligned.

enter image description here

3

I would go by asking the question... From a field scannability perspective, what's more identifiable in your data? The Labels or the Value?

The left details version places more emphasis on the Values vs the right details emphasizes the Labels.

For your example of "Who, When, Where", the values themselves are pretty much understandable without the labels. So the left details might make more sense to use.

0

Simply put, I'd chose Left Detail because that is how our eyes naturally move (for English speakers), left -> right. Info/label first, input/information second.

Maybe I'm over simplifying it here, but that would be my train of thought.

  • Hello, the names are a bit misleading. It always flows left -> right, the difference is whether the details are left aligned (so close to the label) or right aligned (far from the label). I've updated my question to include example pictures for each. – ArtOfWarfare Apr 6 '15 at 19:27

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