Can a note be seen as with the title only instead of cluttering the UI with a full card and content?

Creating a note is okay (not great, as it requires the Untitled Note placeholder to be cancelled by typing), but the note card is too big for me: a couple of notes are enough on the iPad Pro to fill the screen. Can notes be listed with the title only? Thanks.

There are two options. First you can collapse a note so that you indeed only see the title, and hide the rest of the content (double-click/tap the title area of the note, or tap the orange dot button next to the title to collapse.

If you however want to quickly find a particular note and just want to see the titles of all notes in a project, you can tap/click the project title at the top of the notes list. This gives you the view you are probably looking for. You can also filter it and navigate by arrow keys as shown here: