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Why You Shouldn’t Use a Slider on Your Homepage

Sliders are prevalent across the web. You can find examples of them everywhere from big name brand sites to small business websites, dominating valuable homepage real estate, distracting users, increasing load time, cluttering messaging, and turning off customers. You can find them doing just about everything except increasing conversions. 

If you currently have a slider on your homepage or are considering one for a new web design, let us try to convince you to try something else. I promise you sliders do not work the way you think they do. They are not eye-catching or flashy. They don’t grab your visitor’s attention. They don’t allow you to put several offers in front of your visitor at once. They don’t lead to more conversions. In fact, they do just the opposite. 

Six Reasons Not to Use a Slider On Your Homepage

Whether you call them sliders, carousels, or slideshows, they really should be a thing of the past. It’s time to ditch the homepage sliders and here’s six reasons why. 

1. They Cause Banner Blindness

There’s been a number of studies to back this, but most users have learned to tune out content that looks like an ad. And it turns out that the majority of the flashy, moving homepage sliders, often topped off with cheesy animations, mimic the very same design elements used in banner ads. So rather than catching your visitors’ eyes, more often than not, as determined by eye tracking studies conducted by Neilson Norman Group, they will actually ignore it. 

2. Low Click-through Rates

Sliders are notorious for low-click-through-rates. I mean it’s hard to click on something if you’re blind to it, so I guess this makes sense. But so incredibly low that one study done by the University of Notre Dame found a mere 1% of visitors clicked on the slider

3. They Distract and Divide

Far less effective than dividing and conquering, sliders tend to distract and divide the user’s attention. Quick-changing slides with multiple offers and messages can make people feel overwhelmed and will usually leave them feeling confused. When your message gets clouded, your visitors won’t know what next step to take which may even cause them to leave your site altogether to find one with a simpler solution. 

4. They Take Control Away from the User

People are most comfortable when they are in control. The same is going to be true for visitors who come to your website. They want to be and should be in charge their browsing speed and purchasing experience. They want to decide what links to click, how quickly or slowly they move through your content and sliders take away that control away by moving content on their own, whether the user is ready to move on or not. 

6. They Hurt User Experience 

Site speed can make or break a website. It is a huge piece of user experience, so much so that Google even factors it into its ranking algorithm. Because they often feature several large images that need to load at once and require additional JavaScript to run, they negatively affect load speed. Additionally, sliders do not always convert to mobile well and considering mobile devices make up about 50% of web traffic these days, its increasingly important your site be mobile friendly. Most sliders are also not designed for users with disabilities in mind. They use small buttons with poor contrast to control the slider, making it extremely difficult to navigate for those with visual impairments.  

Alternatives to Homepage Sliders

Despite all this, many people still insist on a homepage slider. If you are one of those people, ask yourself why you want a slider on your website and see if there’s anything else out there that can satisfy that need or accomplish that goal. We have lots of suggestions from videos and animated gifs to clean, clear conversion-driven messaging and designs that move the user naturally through your site. If you’re interested in exploring an alternative design to your homepage slider, give us a call at (414) 232-7862 or send us a message online. We’d be happy to discuss what our conversion driven web design services could do to improve the user experience of your website and help your business. 


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