The Finder, the graphical method for working with a Mac's file system, has had a storied history. Apple first showed off the Finder and its graphical interface on the Lisa computer, and then expanded the interface to the first Mac. From there, Apple set the bar on how a graphical user interface should be constructed on computing platforms for many years.
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
The modern version of the Finder on today's Macs is quite different from the early 80's version, with many additional capabilities and options. For example, there are four basic methods of viewing the contents of a folder. Additional options are available for each of the viewing methods, so there are quite a few different possibilities.
If you're not familiar with the variations available in OS X's Finder, take a look at our Using Finder Views on Your Mac guide.
I generally prefer List view, but I have some folders set to Icon view, and some folders set to Column view.