I am creating a presentation and I have to list the following items (personal information you should take care of):

  1. Full name
  2. Address
  3. Social Security number
  4. Date of birth
  5. Mother’s maiden name
  6. PIN
  7. Usernames
  8. Passwords
  9. E-mail address
  10. Credit score

But I don’t want to just list it; instead I created this:

Sample Slide

My worry is that it seems too crowded. Is this right way to do this or should I just list them? New ideas are utmost welcome. Any help is appreciated.

(I just want to add that what if the list contains 11 items instead 10, how to make it as aesthetically pleasing also.)

EDIT: To clarify the purpose, this is just a run-down of items. The next slides doesn't explain the items and my main purpose is just to show examples of the subject.

Removed the circles: enter image description here

  • 2
    You could try redesigning the icons. I think having the circles around each one is what's making it look a bit cramped. To me anyway, my eyes just see a bunch of circles. You could also maybe split it into two slides.
    – Manly
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 14:30
  • I will try to redesign the icons to remove the circles. Anyway, I just want to keep as one slide since it is only a run-down of items. Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 0:24

4 Answers 4


The second options looks better... BUT

The crowded part is because the human brain tries to organize priorities... Our brain struggles to handle several elements at once. Normally arround 6 elements is ok.

You need to group things.

Imagine you are making a form. You do not simply display a list of items but you group them.

Real life

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Mother’s maiden name

Virtual life

  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • E-mail address

Institutional life

  • Social Security number
  • Credit score
  • PIN

Now we have categories, it makes sense now! (What does not make sense is why you need to keep your email private? It is bad if you do want to receive mails)

Take a look at this and study it:

For this specific subject: (around min 13:45, but see it all)


Cheers! :o)

  • Although I want to limit this list as one slide, I think categorizing it seems nice when I tried it at my presentation. The video is explained in a great way why I feel the slide is too crowded. Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 2:54
  • Great answer. As a general rule due to working memory limits people struggle to process more than 5-7 distinct things at once. Turning it into 3-4 chunks of 3-4 items each makes it much more manageable. Personally I'd go with 3 big icons with lists bulleted with small icons under each one, and have the three appear one at a time, so people's attention is focused and they're not distracted reading 10 things when they should be listening to the speaker Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 9:53
  • Oh. I forgot to mention the number of recomended categories or items. As I was reading ux.stackexchange.com/questions/95706/… I did not remembered I did not mentioned it here.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 11:32

The key factor to overcrowding a slide is that it is too much for your audience to grasp (to the extent that it needs to grasp it) while following your talk at the same time. This is a common problem if your slide has a complex structure like some items with substructure or a complicated diagram plus other elements.

Your slide‘s structure is almost the simplest conceivable one: A container of items. Guessing from the context, there is no need for your audience to think about more than one item at once, e.g., to consider any interrelations between the items. The only problem I see is that it may overwhelm the audience if you directly confront it with the entire list. Therefore I would suggest to build up the list item by item (or in reasonable groups of items, if such exist). All these considerations also apply to a plain list, and thus I do not see any advantage of using one.

Another improvement that you should consider is removing the circles (as mentioned by John Manly). If their contents are sufficiently uniform in blackness and size (which is a good idea anyway), they should be identifiable as analogous without additional visual help. However, it’s hard to be sure without comparing both versions.

  • Please see my edit for the purpose of the slide. Would a simple list will suffice if this is my main purpose? Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 0:30

This does seem crowded! Removing the circles as others have mentioned is a good idea, but did you consider how this slide is to be presented? If you have the icons build/animate only one at a time it will allow the audience to only focus on the one item. Important to remember with presentations is that you want the audience focusing on the speaker/presenter, not busy reading the slide. Build them one at a time and then a summary slide could come up at the end with them all listed if need be. Try the layout in two columns like a list with an icon to the left (smaller).

  • Please see my edit for the slide to have context. I will try your idea of the two-column layout. Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 0:27

If you want to show all of them at the same time to emphasize how many there are (or another similar reason), I'd recommend animate them to their positions in groups where the groups are determined by type. You might also want to color code them or perhaps just change the background color during the transition of each section. This allows you to keep all of them on the same slide to show what is/will be covered but allow the user not to be overwhelmed other than purposefully so.

By "type" I mean categories like what Rafael suggests. The exact types will depend on what your final items are.

You can then cover each section in more detail in later slides.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.