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I am working on a hotel comparison site where we parse and quantify the reviews of various hotels and display the comparison in a user friendly way. Here is what I have right now.

The current Design

I am trying to figure out if there is there a simpler/easier way to represent this comparison.

For example, for comparing two values, I was planning to use something similar to the this

Comparing two hotels

But then this does not scale if there are more than two items (or I could not figure out how to represent it if there are more than two items to compare).

What is the best interaction pattern to enable easy comparison of several attributes of more than two objects?

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The key point is user friendly way. Which isn't in your design.

The problems are:

  • Users need to dive too deep into details from the very begining. Most users don't want to read/think. They just need to know which hotel is good for them.
  • Measuring scales are not good and are mixed in a weird way. E.g., Clean and Dirty are the opposite sides of the Cleanliness, etc.
  • Both positive and negative metrics have the same color, which isn't intuitive.
  • Statistical significiancy. Do 34% vs 35% vs 36% are significant enough to discriminate the hotels?
  • Finally, there is no easy tool for users to define a winner, which is the main goal.

Some thoughts of how to improve the design:

1. Provide user-friendly comparision tool.
See the picture, the winner is obvious, right? And it's a scalable approach:

enter image description here
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2. Use information disclose pattern.
Let users to get results quickly, and dive into details if needed. It's like inverted pyramide principle. enter image description here
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3. Use simple numbers as a starting point for comparision.
The numbers are obvious and understandable, and this is a great tool to filter out some items, too. And this is scalable, too. To do it, implement some custom metric (as an expert), but provide the description for it. You need to be honest with users, they don't like to feel fooled.
enter image description here
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4. Make the comparision rating for each feature.
You don't know what feature is more appealing to a user, but this is a way to let him dive into the feature for very detailed comparision.
enter image description here
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5. Don't use negative metrics. Use only positive instead.
Dirt is Clean with zero value, etc. People search for a hotel with optimal positive metrics, not the negative.

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  • Thank you Alexey for the detailed response. This was definitely helpful. Do you have some suggestion on whether bar chart is a suitable way to represent the data or should I be exploring other options. – Gunjan Karun Feb 18 '16 at 18:08
  • @GunjanKarun Bar chart is good, when you have some unlimited metric, and the comparision among barcharts are most obvious. Circles are good for some limited metric, like percents, etc. And the comparision sometime isn't too obvious. Also plain numbers say few to users. Please pay attention, on Olympus comparision: Reasons to buy, sound like friendly advice from an expert. Plain numbers are not user friendly. Feel free to contact me if you need further support. – Alexey Kolchenko Feb 18 '16 at 18:49
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Maybe, you can use faces (like emoticons), happy to sad to mad, change colors, and sizes.

For Room = :-) good or :-( bad (color green, yellow, orange, red for the percent)

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  • Hi Tony, welcome to UX.SE. Can you explain the usability rationale behind your answer a little more, and/or point to resources which discuss the design decisions in greater detail? At first glance, using happy/sad/mad adds ambiguity and decreases salience. Similarly, using color to denote state is notoriously difficult and prone to misinterpretation - red, for example, does not mean the same thing to different people for a multitude of different reasons. – Evil Closet Monkey Feb 17 '16 at 20:03

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