Do People Look At Image Carousels?
We often have clients who want to have a carousel of images, also known as sliders, in the hero of their homepage. They have visions of dazzling their site’s visitors with stunning pictures and testimonials without the user even having to scroll through their site. But there are a few problems with this idea. Get off the Image Carousel.
They Get Ignored
Eye-tracking studies have shown that people perceive carousels as ads, so they barely look at them. In fact, in 2019, Global Affairs Canada wanted to improve some essential travel tasks on their website. Their Traveler’s checklist was featured prominently alongside an attractive graphic in their carousel at the top of the page—yet 89% of participants failed to find it. Once the carousel was swapped out for a text link within the “Planning Your Trip” page, 100% of people successfully followed the link to the checklist.
The University of Notre Dame ran a study to determine the effectiveness of a homepage slider. They found that of the 3,755,297 people who visited their homepage, only 1% clicked on the slider—and 89% of those clicks were on the first slide.
It’s a Waste of Valuable Space
If you have text on the slide, people often miss it because the slide is gone before they are done reading. And if you slow the speed of the carousel down too much, people get bored and move on. There is no perfect speed to match all reading rates. So, it is a terrible place to put important information, and your homepage hero is valuable website real estate. So, why would you put sub-par content there?
They are distracting
The movement of the images on the carousel is disruptive to the reader’s concentration as they attempt to read other content on the page. Your goal is to retain the reader and move them through your website to where you want them to go, whether to the “Buy” button or the “Get a Quote” form. Disrupting that path with sliders is counter-productive
With Carousels Come Accessibility Problems
Jared Smith, from Web Accessibility In Mind, says, “Carousels pose accessibility issues for keyboard and screen reader users that simply cannot be adequately addressed by markup or hacks. Carousels are this decade’s <blink> tag.”
By giving the prime above-the-fold location on your website have accessibility issues, you are immediately creating a poorer user experience, reducing your conversion rates, and lowering your SEO. Why not give that information to your site’s visitors in a more satisfying format that is easier to consume?
Sliders Slow Down Your Site
Sliders are composed of multiple large images. This bogs down your site’s load time, which is terrible for your user’s experience and your SEO. They are even worse for mobile users.
Not Convinced that Sliders are Evil?
Check out this excellent post by Thijs de Valk on Yoast’s Blog, entitled “Sliders suck and should be banned from your website.”
In the meantime, if you want ideas of other ways your website can look amazing and convert at the same time, contact the web experts at Iceberg Web Design!
 Office, Digital Transformation. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 8 Oct. 2021, blog.canada.ca/2021/10/08/promotional-carousels.