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Got sliders on your website? Stop that.

over 6 years ago from , Pixel Lumberjack at Youhark.com

It's not quite a controversial topic, but as conversion rates are becoming more and more of a hot topic, it's important to look at the necessary functions on your website. There are certainly many great websites that use sliders efficiently, however, studies are proving that sliders aren't such a good idea.

Yoast wrote a great article on the science behind this here: https://yoast.com/opinion-on-sliders/

So do you feel that there are sliders that work well (in relation to conversion rates)? Sliders like this one could be a good alternative http://www.ajaxshake.com/demo/EN/901/0c37dfa2/sliding-stacked-images-with-jquery-slidingstacked.html

44 comments

  • Haik AvanianHaik Avanian, over 6 years ago

    I don't really want to be taking advice from someone whose judgement lead them to use that logo

    18 points
    • Daniel HaimDaniel Haim, over 6 years ago

      ohhhhhhh snap http://i.imgur.com/a4BHV.gif

      6 points
    • Andrew Richardson, over 6 years ago

      Haha... classic designer sidestep.

      8 points
    • Marty ThierryMarty Thierry, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      Logo > content : apple > orange

      2 points
      • Haik AvanianHaik Avanian, over 6 years ago

        Yeah but the man himself who is giving me the advice is using the same logic to make his choices. I don't trust him in the same way I wouldn't trust a chronic masturbator to make me a sandwich, even though masturbating and cooking can be seen by some, as you so eloquently put it, as different as apples and oranges.

        0 points
        • Marty ThierryMarty Thierry, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

          I'm curious, how do you find out if the sandwich maker is a chronic masturbator? Do you just ask the guy at Subway how many times he masturbated that day? How would his chronic masturbation affect his sandwich making ability? I'm sure he cleaned up afterwards. I bet if he's a chronic masturbator, he's got some other ADD/ADHD symptoms, like always washing his hands. He's sure to be an excellent sandwich maker. I bet the time last you ordered a sandwich, it was definitely made by someone who masturbated earlier that day. ;)

          But seriously, are you saying that you don't trust opinions like, Luke Wroblewski, Jeffrey Zeldman, Jared Spool, Jeremy Keith or even Eric Meyer, because the logic they used for selecting their logo(apples), is the the exact same logic they used to write their articles(oranges)? I'm sure you agree their logos aren't that great, but their opinions about making websites are spot on.

          2 points
    • Jason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      For reference, I let my 8 year old nephew design that.

      1 point
    • Dewa WidyakumaraDewa Widyakumara, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      edit: meh. the image won't show. editing, lost the urge to comment. can't seem to delete this comment tho. so, yeah, whatever.

      0 points
  • Evan DinsmoreEvan Dinsmore, over 6 years ago

    I've never heard of carousels referred to as "sliders" before. Sliders, to me at least, are a UI element for picking between values.

    12 points
    • Ronan Flynn-CurranRonan Flynn-Curran, over 6 years ago

      Yeah, I think of those as carousels. Though I think most non-designers often call them 'sliders' because of the slideshow aspect

      1 point
    • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      Very true, my mistake for misleading with the wrong terminology.

      0 points
    • Andrew Richardson, over 6 years ago

      Outside of the industry they are referred to as "sliders" or "slideshows". I hear it all the time from coworkers/clients. Carousel is actually not that intuitive if you think about it. It's only a Carousel because we understand how it works, by cycling images through a rotation most people just see sliding images.

      But, tomato... ya know?

      0 points
    • Joe BlauJoe Blau, over 6 years ago

      LOL, holy crap that's funny. I'm reading this thinking it's about one thing and it's not about that at all. Thanks for pointing that out; definitely incorrect vocabulary.

      0 points
  • Jad LimcacoJad Limcaco, over 6 years ago

    "Slider" is a very common term for them. The most popular ones out there even use the term.

    Nivo Slider http://dev7studios.com/plugins/nivo-slider/

    WooSlider http://www.woothemes.com/products/wooslider/

    5 points
  • Shawn BorskyShawn Borsky, over 6 years ago

    Obligatory : I thought this was going to talk about slider controls not carousels.

    Im not sure about everyone else : I'm at the point where I feel like this another design ultimatum that doesn't work as a general rule. Carousels are not good for certain websites : I get that. At least within client websites I have worked on, the analytics and conversions tell me that for some clients carousels were great : they had high click through rates and funneled customers to landing pages they wanted them on. None were e-commerce, so I guess thats the point. Still for me its game studio websites, video portfolios, and food related sites : Carousels were an awesome idea.

    Also, side note : If you make your carrousels swipe compatible it actually works quite well on mobile.

    5 points
    • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      Seems I've erked some people for not using the proper terminology.

      I agree that it's not something you can generalize, and also that it does work on some sites. However for the most part, carousels don't add to the experience the way they used to. When carousels were first introduced, it was a genius way of getting more content on the page. Now it seems like an industry standard.

      0 points
  • anthony thomasanthony thomas, over 6 years ago

    Carousels have low clickthrough rate, but there's a reason for that. It's due to the way most carousels are designed, not the pattern itself. Going to write an article about it. Stay tuned!

    3 points
  • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, over 6 years ago

    I communicate this to clients a lot, but they LOVE these things. I don't know if it's the image of movement or whatever, but it's like jingling a set of keys in front of a baby.

    3 points
  • Matt McDanielMatt McDaniel, over 6 years ago

    Carousels?

    2 points
  • Sebastián RibasSebastián Ribas, over 6 years ago

    Can't believe I'm the first to post this! http://shouldiuseacarousel.com/

    1 point
  • Jake ZienJake Zien, over 6 years ago

    Forgive me, but what about your own website? http://www.retailcontrolsystems.com/

    1 point
    • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      So very true, which is the reason for me posting this. As someone posted earlier, what the client wants, the client gets. However, I'm redesigning it without an image carousel, and trying to educate the higher ups on why they don't work for our site.

      1 point
  • Adam T.Adam T., over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Sliders are awful for converting views to purchases, we get it. However, there are a ton of useful applications for sliders, when the purpose of the page is not to sell a viewer something, which is... a lot of the time. Photography portfolios?

    Trello is an example where it seems to fit really well into a conversion-goal site, and the conversion button is viewable above the slider, so the information is supplementary.

    1 point
    • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      Trello did a great job on their sliders. Testimonials are great for carousels. My initial thought for this post was that many designs I've seen rely heavily on sliders with big images, but with all the studies done on how they affect conversion rates, I'm hoping designers can show me some great alternatives, like you did.

      0 points
      • Adam T.Adam T., over 6 years ago

        Chartbeat uses a pretty neat one on top, it's unobtrusive in it's animations and their action buttons remain on each.

        0 points
  • Simon EvansSimon Evans, over 6 years ago

    Carousels/sliders do suck most of the time, and everyone here seems to agree on that. However, what the client wants, the client gets. Simple as that for me, unfortunately.

    1 point
  • Marty ThierryMarty Thierry, over 6 years ago

    Every site has a primary goal for their users.

    According to the data provided, sliders, specifically automatic rotating banners (or image carousels) at the hero position on home pages, suck because they kill goal conversion.

    Why build something that has been proven to prevent your users from easily reaching the primary goal of the site?

    1 point
    • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, over 6 years ago

      And conversely. If you are using them as sub-content (a rotating testimonials) then it can be highly effective. I wonder why we keep saying they don't work, have we really though or looked into why they don't work? What is causing the problem. I suspect it's simply a matter of how we use them. I'd say a good example of a working slider is in steam. If suspect it has a pretty high click through or at least indirectly creates profit

      0 points
  • Account deleted over 6 years ago

    I fully admit to using sliders. Why? Internal politics. I can sate a lot of people's fears/worries by having a slider on the front page (and sub pages). They feel like their content is available (although most people won't sit and wait for it) and I can keep the front page from being a George R. R. Martin book series.

    (I may be wrong in this, but it's the compromise that seems to help my dev schedule)

    0 points
  • Ed ChaoEd Chao, over 6 years ago

    Consider Hulu. I use those carousels to death (and with great gusto.)

    0 points
    • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      That's a great example! However, they REALLY like carousels. I mean, that's all they use. But it's a unique way to navigate through content, as long as it's relevant.

      0 points
  • Alex MorrisAlex Morris, over 6 years ago

    It's pretty weak to just throw an entire pattern under the bus because it has become overused and abused, there are as many valid use cases for carousels as there are, invalid ones.

    As always, do what works for the scenario you're designing for, test with people and iterate to where it needs to go.

    Just dismissing any pattern out of hand as bad, is at best lazy.

    0 points
    • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, over 6 years ago

      You're right that there are ways to use carousels effectively, which I also pointed to in the last sentence of the post. So I'm not throwing the whole pattern under the bus. I'm looking for valid (read: successful) uses of carousels. Do you have examples for both sides of your argument so you can add to this conversation productively?

      3 points
  • Ryan Hicks, over 6 years ago

    Sliders do suck. It's not a common way a user consumes information.

    0 points