Getting groceries

Someone asked me "Hey Paul, how many results would be a best practice for a listing page?"....

This seems like a fairly straight forward question, but while discussion the options it turned out that the answer resulted in even more questions. It starts with why you want these items in the first place; what is the overview you want to create; can your search , sort of filter? How many results are expected; 10; 50; 1000? Do you want to refer to a specific page to refer to a specific result set? How does the sorting work; is the sorting inspired by the previous sorting criteria?

The number of results is also dependent on the screen size; for a mobile screen you don't want to show too much results at the same time, but on the other hand is the scrolling more intuitive because of touch-control.

Who is using this page? Are we designing this screen for just one or two managers or are we optimising the work proces of 1000 FTE's? Every user deserves an optimal user interface, but the investment to get answers to all these questions might not weigh up against the benefit of it....

This discussion ended with a plan to do some more research on the context of use... Conclusion, you cannot design without understanding the context.