More and more business websites are having home pages dominated by image sliders, also known as ‘carousels’. These have become increasingly common due to out of the box content management systems such as WordPress, with many themes including image slider plugins.
However, recent usability studies have indicated that using image sliders on your home page are a bad idea and many leading companies are now moving away from this design.
Below are some strong reasons why image sliders are a bad idea:
- Image sliders can be mistaken for banners or banner advertising, which people have learnt to ignore. One study found that it’s more likely that you will survive a plane crash or win the lottery than click a banner ad.
- The area where banners normally appear is the prime real estate of your site (the part of the home page that appears before scrolling). This is where your company should be presenting its USP’s and / or call–to-actions such as sign-ups.
- The moving or sliding motion distracts visitors from other areas of the site.
- Multiple large, high definition images can have a negative impact on page load speed, particularly is using entry-level, shared web hosting or the user is using a slower or heavily contended connection. A small increase in load time can negatively impact the visitor experience and adversely affect search engine performance.
- Studies have shown that image sliders aren’t very effective, attracting at little as 1% of clicks.
What You Should Consider Instead
Usability studies have shown that website visitors make a sub-conscious decision whether they will stay on site and engage within 200ms of landing on one of your pages. Your website’s prime real estate should be the area where your business presents it’s USP’s, why visitors should engage with you (and not your competitors) and / or it’s call-to-actions, such email sign-ups.
- “You’re more likely to survive a plane crash or win the lottery than click a banner ad”. Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/its-more-likely-you-will-survive-a-plane-crash-or-win-the-lottery-than-click-a-banner-ad-2011-6?op=1#ixzz3btTXO5JJ
- Notre Dame Uni study finds carousels attracting as little as 1% of clicks Source: http://erikrunyon.com/2013/01/carousel-stats/