I'm reviewing a client's site and their designers have used an unusual element to present some of their key points. The element is called SlideDeck and it's basically an accordion menu that is turned counter-clockwise to be used as a fancy carousel.
The content that the client has put into the slider is a separate & straightforward story so I'm concerned with the appropriateness of such an element. Vertical accordion menus are used to conserve vertical space and to provide quick access to the 2nd level of navigation. However, when you go horizontal, regular carousels do the trick just fine and they require less distance to switch between slides with selectors being on the bottom.
SlideDeck's example gallery has both standard and custom styles. Of the standard layouts, Basecamp's product tour stands out the most though I'm not sold on it. In the custom layouts, CrazyEgg's marketing deck is the best and it's laid out very logically with "tabs" stacked vertically on the left and the main content presented on the right.
So is SlideDeck (or anything similar) a good alternative to a carousel or does it work only in certain cases and only with extensive customization?