About a year ago, we talked about how sliders would be a declining trend in 2014. While this is true to a degree, sliders still seem to be a popular choice. I still stand by the idea that a slider is not necessarily the best option. If your website features a predominant slider, here are five reasons why you might consider replacing it:
If you have looked at web designs in the past few years, you’ve noticed that sliders seem to be everywhere. Indeed, they have been a pretty popular trend over the past two or three years. In the same way, now that sliders are commonplace on the web, they are no longer cutting-edge or innovative.
2. It distracts from the call to action.
Let’s say, for example, that your slider has four different slides, each leading to a different primary practice area. If your web visitors wait and watch the slider go through the entire cycle, they now have six choices of actions to take – they can go to any of your four practice areas, they can scroll down the page to view even more choices of links to follow, or they can leave. Oftentimes, that last option is the easiest. We don’t want leaving your site to be the easiest option! The most effective websites feature one primary call to action, making the viewers’ choice simple.
3. A powerful message in a desktop slider does not usually translate well on mobile screens.
I often find sliders with large, impressive images and an intense but beautifully arranged tagline mesmerizing. But imagine shrinking that down to fit on a smartphone. While it is true that smartphones are getting larger every day, the strength and impact of that large image and text do not translate the same way on a handheld device.
4. Sliders hide crucial information.
I get it. You want to make sure that your web visitors see everything you want them to. So you want to fit all of that crucial information into the top of the website. After all, what if they don’t scroll? Or click on the link you want them to? While this might make sense at first, this line of thinking is going to result in an ineffective website design.
5. Sliders are ignored.
Tests have shown that user interaction with sliders is surprisingly low. In fact, viewers have become trained to ignore them in a phenomenon known as “banner blindness.” As we spend time browsing online, our eyes get used to ignoring the flashing advertisements on the top and sides of many websites and blogs. While our Essential Attorney websites do not feature these types of ads, the motion of an automatic slider can still remind viewers’ eyes of banner ads, resulting in low user engagement with those sliders.
There are plenty of other design techniques that are more innovative and will capture your audience’s attention that can be used in place of a slider. One of my favorite substitutions for a slider is a single, beautiful photo with an impactful statement that leads directly to a powerful call to action. Think that it might be time to rethink your slider? Contact the IMS team today!
Reference: ConversionXL (September 27, 2012) "Don’t Use Automatic Image Sliders or Carousels, Ignore the Fad"