Can I Have Manageable Lists, Please?

Originally published on Hackernoon (Medium)


If there is something that pisses me off is when someone treats me like a pre-sapiens.

I’m perfectly aware that user interfaces should be kept simple. But there should have been a misunderstanding, here. It was not meant that user interfaces need to be stuck at a very basic level.

Lists are my favorite example. Or, well, maybe favorite is not the right word, as I turn violet each time I see them.

Examples

Netflix

When a see a title I’m interested in, I add it to my list. Now I have maybe more than 50 titles on the list, and it’s quite impossible to scroll it. I have a 43” TV, and I can see maybe 5/6 titles at the time. I can do a search, of course, but I don’t always remember the title, and it’s not so immediate to type it with a TV remote.

Medium

The reading list (bookmarks) is a flat list. I have a 27” display, and I can see only 5 (five!) articles on the screen. No grouping. I’ve 348 articles on my list. My fault. I know you want my list to remain short. But you failed you’re intent because there are 348 items in there. Give me the tools to prioritize them. It’s easy. Really easy. At least, you could compact the view.

And what about my followers/followees? You now finally let me have the entire list (it took years…), but seeing 6 followers – with no details- on a 27” display is still ridiculous. There is plenty of space for details and to avoid me a useless scroll.

Why?

I understand that the user feelings are important. You’re trying to develop a pleasant user experience. Plenty of void space and so on.

But I’m not pleased. I’m angry because I use those tools every day.

Users are not equal, I know. Keep it simple but give them options. Many of them can manage lists very well. They use spreadsheets, at least. Someone is designing self-driving cars or sending stuff in the space.

You cannot ask me to scroll after the fifth item. It should be illegal.

If your wide, clean, poor and useless lists boost my frustration of not having the opportunity to group/prioritize the items, or I miss the overview, your UX design is not doing good work. Your design is aimed at my first user experience. By the second, I’m already searching for alternatives. You’re just lucky that there are often few (or none) good alternatives.

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest