HTML slideshow are one of the trendiest and most debated topics in the world of online marketing. Often named carousels and rotating offers, these interchanging images are seemingly unable to cause neutral opinions. Marketers either love them or hate them, causing much unrest in the entire industry.
There are many knocks against them, as well as support coming from all sides. Thus, it can be said that data is required in order to tackle this subject and resolve it once and for all. Let’s take a look at whether carousels benefit your website or are they ineffective.
Not so good news
Unfortunately, employing a slideshow grid is seen a waste of space according to most researchers. For instance, one study from Notre Dame University has shown some not so positive results concerning carousel. Approximately 86% of all visitors only interacted with the first slide of the carousel. It works like a video player, where the ads are too quick to understand. Also, most of the times the visitor loses its interest that ultimately throws a negative impact on the look and feel of a website.
On the contrary, a study conducted by the University of York confirms that by limiting the number of items to be displayed on homepage sliders, you can enhance its effectiveness. Now that we’ve seen the general consensus is, it’s time to pinpoint the reasons behind this unpopularity of website sliders.
Why does this happen?
It may seem that homepage slideshows are not the best way to promote content that is of critical importance to your brand and goals. There are multiple reasons as to why are carousels unnecessarily clogging up your page.
- The speed issues. Because you have multiple-high quality images, your page will be a bit slower. Here’s an example:
If those images are moving and are interchangeable, then the situation is even direr. Most web designers rely on jQuery and the script for the slider. The downside of using jQuery is that it loads the entire content on the initial page load. Because of which it takes forever to open the homepage of any website.
- They are worse than a Call to Action. Image sliders are only for displaying, not urging your customers to act just so a conversion can be made. Nobody has the nerve to wait for all the slides to load just so he can reach the needed information.
- Incompatible with mobile. Due to the fact that we live in a smartphone dominated era, all content has to be accommodated to such an interface. If it’s not, your brand doesn’t really have a bright future. With a smaller screen size of a mobile, you cannot expect the slider to function the way it does on a laptop or desktop screen.
- More is less. Too many messages moving around might confuse the user. It becomes a sort of repellant for people searching for specific sets of information. Too many messages and thoughts equals to no messages at all, which is bad if you want to urge your visitors to act.
So, we should just forget them?
Not at all! When we say that carousels are bad, we’re talking about the general use of carousels and how most people use them. Even though they aren’t to be used for important information, they can be a great aid in tidying up your website. Here’s how you can use them correctly:
- Using only one message actually allows people to have fun while focusing.
- Have each slide filled with the same content, don’t mix up.
- Do not use more than three slides. Even four is way too much, unless the story you want to tell is especially interesting.
- Disable automatic rotation! Let users control the flow themselves. This creates happier customers and doesn’t slow down the page.
- Make sure you use them for display purposes only
These include offers, promotions, and other instances that work well with it. Important info doesn’t belong there.