List View

Purpose

A list view offers orientation, organization, and allows navigation without the need for more controls. Additionally, a list view may be used for single selection (users select one item from a list of mutually exclusive values) or multiple selections (selections in combination with the Shift key or Control key). However, because there is no common visual clue whether a list box’ mode is single or multiple and since other controls are more efficient for single selection, a list box should be used for single selection only.

ListView.png

Guidelines

Is this the right control

  • Prefer a list view to show items that belong together and in case there is enough space.
  • Use the list view for selection when it is easy for users to know which items are selected at any given time, for one or more of these reasons:
    • There are no more than twice the number of options then are visible at a time
    • The options are well-known and familiar (for example months of a year or days of a week)
    • Usually the selected options are close to each other in the list
  • Do not provide extended multiple selections with Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click to select groups of contiguous or non-adjacent values, respectively. Instead, use the dual-list pattern if multiple items have to be selected, because it allows users to easily see which items are selected at any point, without having to scroll through the available options, and it can be used with only the mouse. (Once the list view is being revised this guideline is subject of change.)

Behavior

  • Do not have blank list items; use meta-options, e.g. (None) instead.
  • Place options that represent general options (e.g. All, None) at the beginning of the list.
  • Sort list items in a logical order. Make sure sorting fits translation.
  • For lists with more than one column, use headers and allow sorting. Show these controls in the header.

Appearance

  • Alternate row color (use theme settings). Use different keys (e.g. page up/down) when more lists should be accessible.
  • Show at least four list view items at any time without the need for scrolling.
  • Make windows and the list within a dialog or utility window resizeable so that users can choose how many list items are visible at a time without scrolling. Make these windows remember last used dimensions.
  • If selections affect the appearance or control states, place these controls next to the list view.
  • Disable controls in a dialog if not in use rather than hide, or remove them from the list (i.e. they are dependent controls),
  • Label the list view with a descriptive caption to the top left (cf. alignment).
  • Create a buddy relation so access keys are assigned.
  • End each label with a colon. “:”
  • Use sentence style capitalization for list view items.