This post is a response to Alexander Interactive's blog entry titled "Amping Up Apple's Compare Grid" regarding Apple's new interactive (draggable columns) Mac comparison chart.

The collapsible rows method only works well when you're dealing with "yes/no" values for each row and column, or simple one (or two) liners such as numbers, a word, or a light combination of both, as demonstrated with Bizfilings and Kaplan.

Apple's chart allows you to clearly compare large chunks of critical information simply by scrolling and looking. There is no unnecessary clicking, toggling, scrolling, or any combination of these elements present in Apple's comparison chart, simply because it would slow the user down in being able to scan all the provided information. More after the jump...

I am huge fan of fancy and fun interactions, but, I usually strive for minimal and effortless navigation of content first. Before jumping into solutions that would require extra action by the user to continue seeking knowledge, I devise methods that would prevent the need to.

My philosophy is that people want information FAST, and fancy/fun interactions isn't my ideal approach of choice when it comes to speed. It's different, however, when you're dealing with naturally complex subjects where the user would inherently expect some form of complex/fun/fancy interactions.

I am also aware that some projects NEED that added level of fun/fancy interaction due to the potentially boring nature of the material (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), or the surrounding design/layout being unexciting.

One particular criticism I can give about Ai's Kaplan interactive chart is that I would've gone with a method that relies primarily on grouping different programs and courses together. This is because a lot of the information is very repetitive with each column/row, and the info that is based on variables could be handled on a per-group basis with a consistent thought-out layout beneath each group.