RE: RE: Usability study of tables sorted across vs. down

Subject: RE: RE: Usability study of tables sorted across vs. down
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 09:50:39 -0800

Does the entire "table" fit on one page or screen? If so, then from a user POV I wouldn't find either way better, as long as we're talking about an alphabetical listing of items that are not categorized in any other way.

If this runs into a second page, however, or is large enough on the screen to require scrolling, then I'd prefer a top-to-bottom alphabetical sorting with no columns, so it isn't necessary to flip/scroll in more than one direction to go through the list from beginning to end (eyes scanning left/right across a printed page is the equivalent of flipping/scrolling when it comes to effort and annoyance).

What would be especially irksome would be if it was necessary to flip/scroll back and forth up/down AND left/right to read all the items in order.

Gene Kim-Eng

------- Original Message -------
Kevin Elmore asked:
> I've been having a discussion about presenting a table of links.
> Since there are no borders, this looks more like two columns online,
> so the term, "table," is used on the authoring side.
> Right now, I have 17 links in two columns. It has always been laid out
> alphabetically from left to right. I think it would look better being
> sorted alphabetically from top to bottom instead.
> I wonder if there have been any usability studies on the layout of
> these types of tables (columns). I know that I personally prefer a
> table that lists everything down first and then across, but I could
> possibly be in the minority. Any ideas of these studies?

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