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[Android] GameList: Grid vs List
First, here are images of grids and lists from the Material Design Guidelines

[Image: components_lists_keylines6.png]

[Image: components_grids_specs12.png]

Grids are primarily for consuming audio visual content (eg. Videos Games, Movies, Music), while a list would work for textual content (eg. Settings, Messaging). Grid items focus on images while list items focus on text. Grids also allow more items on the screen, since in portrait you can have 2 items side by side, and in landscape you could have 3 or more items side by side (In landscape, on my phone, I can see 6 games at a time vs 2 games at a time (with a lot of wasted whitespace)).

So, to conclude, here's a list of pros and cons (and potential mitigations):


  • Save images are treated as a first class citizen so users can see what they were doing last and also identify the game without reading the title
  • A lot more games can fit on the screen at the same time

  • Game titles get truncated (Mitigation: Long press a game to view its title in a Toast (This is also implemented by Netflix))


  • Users can see the title and any extra information that may be available (possibly publisher or last play date...)

  • Uses up a lot of room on the screen, shows a lot of whitespace.
  • Save images are swept off to the side. Users can still get context but it isn't the main focus.
  • Only 3-5 games can be shown on a screen in portrait at a time vs 6-15 with a grid.

Ideally, you'd be able to switch, but I definitely think that list is better by default. Grid is very confusing when all you have by default is a big blank icon and cut off text for the name of the ROM. If we could pull down box art that might be a bit different, but that's not an initial thing.

Ideally the only time when a screenshot would not be available is when the user hasn't played the game yet.

I can also change the maximum number of lines displayed to 2 so most title can be read. I've also experimented with moving the text from on top of the screenshot (Example from my personal music app

That pic doesn't look very material design, but I was shown an app earlier today (Matsu's GBA emulator I think?) that did the grid view with two lines and it looked fine, so that might be okay. But again, both with them being switchable would be ideal. The question would be which is the default.

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