Auto-Scrolling Image Carousels

Chances are at least 50% of the websites you’ve visited today have featured a scrolling/rotating image slider carousel taking up most of the homepage. The idea is to give a snapshot of a companies offering – products, services, special offers, latest news – but what is the reality? Are carousels a useful tool or a waste of valuable onscreen real estate?

advanceAdvance Flow Pack’s carousel allows users to scroll through their range of wrapping machines at their own pace.

A lot of the time, people will see something on a website and be impressed by the movement or graphics, thus the idea is stuck in their heads and they insist on having a similar feature on their own website. This is not a decision based on effectiveness, rather it’s a shallow way of planning a website.

Various organisations and companies have tested people’s reactions to image carousels and the feedback is not positive – the overall results show that auto scrolling carousels are terrible for business. Often users will look straight past them, as they look like banner adverts, and if they do notice them they become frustrated at the information changing before they’ve had a chance to find what they were looking for.

j3

This banner works as the call to action remains static whilst allowing high quality photos of previous projects of this Newcastle Builders to rotate in the background

So what’s the solution? If a client asks for a banner, you can’t just refuse. Here are the options:

  • Put control in the hands of the user – add navigation options so they can scroll through at their own pace. You get the impact of the large image without the frustration of missing it.
  • Use a static banner to communicate your main point – ideally the banner space should provide users with the ability to find what they’re looking for immediately, make the most of their one second attention span.
  • Don’t overstyle the banners – the more it stands out from the rest of the page, the more it looks like an external advertisment, so keep it relatively simple.
  • Ditch the whole concept of banners and simply start the actual web content at the top of the page.

monarch

This banner is static, and smaller than usual – the user instantly knows their looking at a range of flood protection products.