a common Readability Mistake with Multi-column Lists

Look closely at the following 2 lists:

Can you spot the design fault?

Multi-column list: left to right, top to bottom


If you looked closely, you could see that it's NOT two lists.

It's 1 list.  Divided into 2 columns.​

That's because the list is running from left to right, then top to bottom.

Multi-column list: left to right, top to bottom

At first, it seems a bit weird.

The human brain doesn't recognize this as one single list.

Instead, the perception is of two lists.

The brain recognizes a 'list' when it sees:

#1: A single top-to-bottom component, with

#2: Related items

#3: Left-aligned

#4Not center-aligned like this unreadable list​ 😉

The example list is even in alphabetical order:

  1. [Last Longer...
  2. [Last Longer...
  3. About​
  4. Common Erup...

But the uncommon layout makes it difficult to understand and use the feature.

Multi-column list: left to right, top to bottom

Am I nit-picking?

​I've been labeled as a "perfectionist".

I, myself, used to say, "I'm a perfectionist."

I call it: a higher-level awareness of weakness.

Haha!  That's total B.S.​

Look, I have an ability to find where things are wrong.  And discover how to make wrong things right again.

Clients leave without complaining

Once, ​I went to a chiropractor who gave me a blanket adjustment.

Different patient -- exact same treatment.

I never told him my thoughts.  I never went back.  I never left a negative review.

Your client doesn't want to think about what to do next

If you make him think, he encounters resistance.

He's going to leave if you make him think.​

Jake Berger

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