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Why I don't like homepage sliders

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Design

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

There’s a common web design pattern that I see a lot these days. It’s a big and bold image slider with five or six images on the home page of a site. Sometimes, they have a text message over each image. Sometimes they scroll the images automatically. I’m sure you’ve seen them and I’ve coded a few of these myself (and will probably do a few more). However, are they really helping get your message across and converting website visitors? Or are they just “eye candy”?

Sliders or carousels have been around for a few years and they still seem very popular so….

Why don’t I like them?

  1. Does anyone see or read more than the first or second slide?
  2. I don’t know about you but I tend to ignore anything moving on a page. I associate moving elements with ads and ad blindness kicks in. I don’t want moving images. Just give me the information I’m looking for!
  3. What’s the goal for your home page? What’s the main call-to-action? Does the slider help with this? Often, I’d say No.

In my view, it would be better to have a single strong message and/or a bold call-to-action in place of an image slider on the home page. Sure, change the message regularly if you want but measure the results and optimise accordingly. Just don’t have a slider with five or six images and “nothing to say”.

OK, that’s it. Mild-mannered rant over.

PS: If you must have a slider or carousel, measure the results, look at your website statistics. Are you getting results that make the slider worthwhile?

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  • Tim:

    02 Sep 2014 23:24:13

    Interesting article Clive however I believe you cannot apply a single rule to every site. Some sites can benefit from “showreel” type content.

  • 03 Sep 2014 07:50:30

    Yes, it’s a decision for each site based on the type of site and site/homepage objectives. My main argument stems from the studies I’ve read where the click-through rates on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. slides are very low. Of course, that assumes that a click is the intended objective.

    I’d like to read a few more studies on the results from sliders/carousels though.

    Let’s discuss next time I see you!

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