Tip: Use lists of 3-7 items

Use lists of 3-7 items. Contented.com tip.

Ideally, dot-point lists should not be longer than around 7 items. That's because the average person (you and I) can hold between 5-9 items in our short term memory.

If a dot-point list has more than 7 items, then readers:

  • may forget how the list started
  • may not read past the first item (strange but true)
  • may lose sight of the start as they scroll down a web page.

So what should you do with longer lists? Don't use dot points. Instead, you could:

  • subdivide the list into smaller, logical sections, or
  • list items alphabetically, or
  • number items and order them chronologically or in a logical sequence (for example, steps in a procedure).

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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