In the classes I teach, I have my students fill out an index card giving me various bits of data (name, major, why they're in the class, and a few more things). I write what I want down on the board, and I collect index cards a few minutes later.
The classrooms I typically work in have small boards, and I write the index card stuff in two columns. However, last Friday, I wrote everything in one column since the room had a bigger board.
In all the classes where I've written in two columns, 99% of the students (likely more, actually -- I think I've had an aberration two times) write their answers horizontally on the index card. They don't typically write in two columns, but they do write horizontally.
In the class where I happened to write everything in one column, over half the students wrote their responses vertically. When I asked students about the differences, they cited the column layout as their reason for choosing one index card orientation over another.
Goes to show that appearance and layout actually do matter for something.