I am creating an application for smartphones (Beginning with Android) which in its base core of data displaying, will have a list of a single item which can have many characteristics. Each characteristic is a title in a long header (long horizontal) and there can be many possibilites for these characteristics and each possibility can be considered as a different item (long vertical).

To explain what I'm talking about, lets take for example a tree. a tree can have leaves or not, it can be tall or short, it can bear fruits or not, it can have different kind of general shapes.. so lets say there are many charactristics like these.. how can I show the different kinds there is?

I guess I can avoid the long vertical by restricting the number of items in a page, but what is a proper way to display a long horizontal list on a smartphone screen? Should it be enough to have horizontal scrolling? should I force a landscape view?

  • Welcome to UX.stackexchange. Could you sketch out an example? It will be easier to visualize and come up with suggestions.
    – Mayo
    Jun 11, 2015 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


I would form clickable / tapable groups of the characteristics. On tapping the area expands and shows the details. And a second tap could retract the details again.

This way you can compactly and logically display a lot of information.

You should not enforce landscape because many people like to hold their phone or tablet in portrait. Leave the choise to the user. I find it annoying if i can not hold my device as i choose.

Also the way I see it, in your case you could show more information at once in portrait mode. Considering it's a list of information.

  • by the clickable group you mean letting the user click on a list item which will show more details?
    – CodeMonkey
    Jun 12, 2015 at 14:30
  • Yes. Display only category titles, expand on click to show the details that fall in that group. Im not sure about details on trees, but for a car for instance the groups could be Measurements (weight, height, etc), History (age of car, first registration date), Extras (air conditionong, stereo installation) Etcetera Jun 12, 2015 at 15:43
  • I was kinda hoping to avoid that since it means the user will need to press many times on different items to see their groups which can be annoying.
    – CodeMonkey
    Jun 12, 2015 at 15:47
  • Can you give the exact example of what we are talking about here? You say there are a lot of details, but we have no idea how many details. Also no idea what kind of items we are actually talking about Jun 12, 2015 at 15:55
  • You can take the car for example. it can have properties like number of doors, type of engine, automatic or manual, age... let's say there are about 25 properties like that which everyone can be displayed as a column in a table. It can be annoying if the user sees only basic details and needs to press each car to see its full info.
    – CodeMonkey
    Jun 12, 2015 at 16:02

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