@StuartK Too much space is wasted in the mockup. It makes comparing actually possible, but it’s far from being useful. It still compares just three options. Most questions have much more options than three.
What does the “Hide” button do? Hides the option and loads the next highest voted one? It will be too hard to use this, I’m afraid. It doesn’t solve the problem of comparing more than three items at all. What should I do if I want to return the hidden one? Too confusing.
You can use a list of checkboxes instead to make switching between displayed options easier. However, displaying just three options still won’t be enough.
And by the way, tables and comparisons shouldn’t be constrained by the usual page content width. Users should be able to use all available screen area.
In some cases, it’s very important. I’m thinking of property values as something similar to reasons: property name (from a dropdown), property value, sources. If compact tables are implemented, the need to provide both short and long value will complicate things though.
Well, professional tools is the area I actually care about. Properties in other areas (games, books) will be much simpler: OS, price, year, several others.
In areas like gaming comparisons don’t make much sense anyway, I think. If I’m looking for a game to play or book to read, what I actually need is a list of popular stuff with several reviews. I don’t really care whether a game uses DirectX 9 or DirectX 11, what language it’s written in and whether it’s open-source. Even prices for games aren’t too far apart. The list of properties will be short, the list of options can get very big. I’m definitely not going to use comparison view in this case.
Why not? When choosing a professional tool (programming or not), I often have to delve into tiny details, and in these cases detailed comparisons are very helpful. Professional tools have hundreds of features and people tend to use only a small part of them. However, everyone uses their own subset of features, so having a complete list is the only way of providing information for everyone.
Look at this comparison:
It has 33 properties and 19 options. All properties and all options are very important, you can’t remove any of them without sacrificing quality of comparison significantly (well, a couple, maybe). You can’t move to “higher level”, because it’s already high.
But neither Features table nor Available version control systems table can be presented on Slant. All options must be displayed at the same time, my brain will melt trying to remember property values of all websites if I can see only 3 options at the same time. The same with properties.