Sliders Have Had Their Day

 Sliders Are Not Cool

Sliders, or carousels, have long lost their edge, yet many people are still requesting them to be added to their website or included in their new website design. They were pretty cool once; everyone was wowed by the fancy moving screens that would automatically rotate, offering up various messages without requiring a click from the user. It was almost like magic, and the departments in the company were happy because they had a way of getting on the front page of the website. The thing is, like neon socks, sliders have had their heyday and now they’re best left as a memory. But why?

We’re not just saying sliders suck because we hate them. Users find sliders to be annoying and they reduce visibility on the site. Have a read of this interesting test from Jakob Nielsen for more information; it’s quite an eye opener.  There are plenty of other issues too, such as:

  • Sliders aren’t a good way of presenting content on the home page. Often the content shared on sliders is irreverent, or the rotator switches at a too fast or slow rate to suit the user.
  • Sliders slow down websites, which is bad news for anyone trying to optimise a website for the search engines (all of us!).
  • The interaction stats for sliders makes for depressing reading, with most sliders being ignored and the first slider only receiving a 1% click through rate.
  • The sliders can be frustrating for anyone using a laptop of desk top, but the situation is so much worse for those reaching your website through a mobile device.
  • They have a negative effect on your page layout, pushing content down the page, something that will be picked up in Google’s page layout algorithm.
  • The flow of content can cause a distraction, taking the users attention away from what they came to do. Even worse, it can cause confusion, offering too many choices.

Sliders do make the design process easier, but that’s not a good reason to keep using them, it’s just lazy web design.  We know they move but really that’s not impressive any more because the cost of that movement isn’t worth it.  We think that it is better to leave a slider off the website and benefit from a faster website, with targeted content, that directs users of where to go next without causing any frustration or confusion.  Let’s move with the times and leave sliders in the past. Still need convincing? Visit http://shouldiuseacarousel.com for more information.

Not everyone feels the same way as us. What are your thoughts on the use of sliders? Tell us over on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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