Time to Ditch your Slider?

What’s the point of sliders?

image-sliderSince 2012 adding a homepage slider has been a popular client request.

So are sliders a fad or long-term innovation?

Initially image only and known as carousels or rotating banners, sliders ‘add a bit of movement’. Muscling in on most home pages, by mid 2013, their usability was being questioned.

Brad Frost suggested sliders became popular as they ‘kept everyone from beating the sh*t out of each other’ in meetings. Why edit or prioritise content when you can put everyone’s image choice and quotes on a new slide.

Prime Positioning of Banal Content

Full width and half or full screen height, they take up prime position on the most visited page, the home page. The first slide may be the only one seen, as visitors rapidly navigate through or off the site. As most slides are ‘hidden’ content tended to be banal.

By pushing useful content ‘below the fold’ – visitors have to scroll to find it – risking visitors missing it altogether.

Are Slides Clicked on?

Harrison Jones looked at the data for 3 high traffic websites that had home page sliders. He wanted to see if visitors clicked on the slider or carousel indicators. These are those ridiculous dots, centred below each image. A navigation aid, they also indicate how many slides there are.

As shown on this table, the percentage of visitors who clicked on a slider was less than 1%.
slider-click-chart Based on these stats, I am guessing only web developers, whilst testing, have clicked on carousel indicators. Primary research suggests most aren’t aware they do anything! You can view the full post here.

Should you ever use sliders?

When this article was originally written (2104), some predicted sliders would be banished into web design history. Instead, they evolved.

Adding Engaging Content

Sliders create movement. However, to avoid content deficit add words to encourage visitors to click a button. Just make sure it’s the same on every slide.

Examples of Click-Bait

Explain in a few words, why customers do business with you. “If you can’t explain it easily… you don’t understand it well enough.”.

Calls to action buttons could be ‘Read more’, ‘Watch this video’, ‘Sign up’ or ‘Contact Us’

Thumbnail Galleries

If you want to present a small collection of carefully selected images in a gallery, a slider is ideal for this. Just make sure it includes thumbnails so visitors are encouraged to view more.

2017-09-25T14:14:31+00:00 Jan 7, 2015|Digital Affordance|