If you’d rather see the subject line as the top line when using the condensed view in Outlook, you can make a simple tweak to show the subject line on the top, and the from address on the bottom. I’ve found that this helps when you get a lot of emails from the same people, since you can see what the message is about more easily.
Here’s your default inbox view, notice that the subject line is underneath and is in a lighter gray color that’s more difficult to read at a glance.
To change this setting, go to your View menu, then Current View, and then Customize Current View (note that you could create a new view for this setting if you wanted)
Now click on the “Fields…” button to open up the Show Fields dialog. Select “From” in the right-hand pane, and then use the Move Down button to move it below the Subject as shown.
Now when you look at your inbox, you’ll see messages with the subject line on the top, and the sender in the lighter font on the bottom.
Quite useful… you might have also noticed the “maximum number of lines in compact mode” setting, which is interesting to play with as well.