Useful Stuff

The Curse Of The Carousel

Carousels or image sliders as they are sometimes known seem to be all the rage. Perhaps because people think they’re kind of fancy. Or that by throwing a bunch of fast moving content and images at users, it might make them think you’ve got an awful lot of important things to say.

Sadly, that’s not the case.

If only they converted users as quickly as the darn things rotated. They don’t. And never will.

So why should you stop using them? (Right away).

Fundamentally the carousel logic is all wrong. It assumes users are prepared to hang around and view all of the images and content you’re offering up. This just aint the case. People get bored. They move on. On to other sites. (Before they’ve even seen all of your beautifully crafted carousel content).

Movement is distracting. Fact. By bombarding users with multiple pieces of content you’re effectively diverting their attention away from the things that really matter on your website. Like what you’re actually saying, your value proposition or what you’re trying to sell. A static hero is king in this case and will certainly focus the users gaze. Nobody likes a wondering eye.  

Message overload. If you’re saying too many things, the chances are your users won’t actually pay attention to any of it. But by focusing on one single message you’ll stand a much better chance of effectively communicating with your audience – capturing, and most significantly retaining their attention.

Control. Let’s face it, we all want it. Users want to be in control of what they see - they really don’t want images that flash by so quickly they can’t be seen, or text that disappears before its even been read. This is a missed opportunity to engage with your user and a big website fail.

What do we do instead I hear you ask?

How about replacing your carousel with a compelling static image combined with high quality content?

Or even integrating the core content into the UI?

You could also incorporate feature areas or tabs to assist navigation – get your users to where they want to be quickly. After all, this is the job of the homepage.

But if you’re adamant on using a carousel (and we can’t change your mind… despite our compelling case) clear navigation and strong content may help to increase its effectivity.

(We still think you should ditch the carousels; they’re hurting your conversion rates) :(
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