The "You shouldn't do X, Y and Z" articles are gaining a lot of popularity these days for some reason. Design is finding a solution to the problem you're presented with, and a lot of times no two problems are exactly comparable. While I agree that the carousel isn't a good solution for a lot of these home pages, it doesn't mean this type of solution doesn't work at all for anything. There may well be a case where it makes perfect sense to use a carousel (maybe a web store that cycles through their featured deals, for example). It all comes down to finding a solution to the problem you're presented with.
The takeaway here should be that we as designers shouldn't default to a specific solution just because it is used often.
Good point here
Cycling through featured deals will only ensure that 90% of them are not seen. There is an infinitesimally small amount of situations where a carousel is the answer to a problem. Unless of course the problem is needing to bury content.
As a business owner / marketer / growth hacker I see my apps home page as the opportunity to get attention, and hold attention long enough to get our value proposition across - I feel (for us) that a carousel might derail this process. Plus we're currently split testing our home page headlines etc and having a carousel would make this a nightmare.
There may come a time when a carousel is something that might help our cause e.g. quickly cycling through customer case studies - but for now, it's a no from me :)
Good discussion point though. Always good to revisit these things... it would be interesting to ask the guy the invented the carousel as to why he built it.
Totally agree. I think for conversion based scenarios (eg: e-commerce) they should be avoided if you can as research suggest they are not as effective in these scenarios, but only when promoting products or sales etc. For other applications they can be quite useful and relevant, especially when the content being displayed on later slides is only supportive or less relevant.
"If you have some content you don’t want people to read, then a carousel is the way to go." A+
This isn't true. I work for a large media company and the radio station market web sites sell spots to clients for a position in the rotator (carousel in this case) because they get tremendous amount of traffic to interior pages because people click on the rotator items.
Articles like this always throw the features under the bus and not providing the readers alternatives or solutions. What's the point?
So you're saying either have a solution or don't say anything at all? The internet will be a very quiet place.
If you are a good designer, you will find your own solutions and alternatives.
Hehe. Its about the basis of a good article. But I guess you are right in the sense that this article does not provide alternatives and solutions meaning the writer is not a good designer. Come on man, don't be so prejudice.
While I agree with your overall point, the argument for being slow is a bit laughable.
Your screenshot is two thirds jQuery which is going to be loaded on the vast majority of sites anyway... really? Maybe you should check out Unslider, it's only 3kb.
Original post author here.
First of all, what a difference to hacker news!
Anyway, I've read the comments here and want to reply with my 2p.
You should know that we have a blogging calendar at work. Each member of staff is expected to write one blog post per month to keep the digital marketers happy. That means we don't always spend the time to craft a well-researched, carefully nuanced post.
The other thing you should know is that the blog is aimed at clients. We occasionally do stuff that appeals to other designers/developers solely to get the attention of people working in house so they can use it and, the thinking goes, hire us if they ever need to outsource, but mostly the blog is unapologetically for clients. Ergo it gets dumbed down.
Having said all that, in response to @Riho, where you said, "it doesn't mean this type of solution doesn't work at all for anything" I also said that in the conclusion of my post.
@Kevin those are some interesting claims, and I would love to see a case study on that. I would be the first to get it on twitter as I loved being proved wrong! If you do ever write it up please let me know @derekjohnson.
@Bryce I chose random carousel code from github as most carousels I've seen implemented are powered by jQuery. Your point about the majority of sites loading it anyway is factually wrong. Only 30% of sites use it.
@Sherizan You are 100% right. I am a terrible designer. In fact I'm not even a designer. I'm a frontend developer who cares most about usability, accessibilty and performance.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of carousels either. The reason why it existed in the first place was because we had the "above the fold" mentality. This has changed over the years. We accept scrolling down and viewing more content thanks to the way we view websites on mobile. But sadly it has still being overused to this date especially on e-commerce websites.
There are much more improved carousels that uses purely CSS with a touch of animations to give some life to the carousels.
Not calling you a terrible designer but just that the article fell short.
We have a similar blog policy where I work. I dread it more than anything else. My condolences.
I agree, based on the point of focus. Interpreting read.