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6 Reasons to Ditch your Website’s Slider
Sliders promise a lot; they let you pack all of your important messaging right at the top of your page, present it nicely with big images and even fill the creative void for those PowerPoint transitions we left behind 10 years ago (anyone remember that letter by letter text entry setting? I really hope that’s died by now…). But in reality, sliders almost always fail to deliver. Here are six reasons you should ditch your website’s slider.
1. One percent of people click on a slide
That’s not 1% of people clicking on your third slide; that’s 1% of people clicking on any of your slides. Of that 1%, 84% click on the first slide, with the rest of the slides receiving roughly 4% each.
Graph from Erik Runyon.
2. It’s bad for SEO and page speed
Sliders slow down your page speed, and Google really hates slow sites. The confusing hierarchy of headings also causes issues, as search engine can’t work out what your main messaging is. In a competitive market this could be the difference in appearing above or below your online competitors in Google. For more about the SEO implications there’s a great article by Search Engine Land.
3. People may skip straight past your banner
Jakob Nielesn (an expert in user interactions – that takes me back to my Uni days…) found that sliders that auto-rotate are often skipped altogether by a user. They annoy users by moving too quickly and taking away control from the users. They can also look a lot like advertisements, causing banner blindness – we’re so used to seeing web banners that we don’t even look at them anymore.
4. They often don’t work well on mobiles
Sometimes sliders just flat out don’t work, or you can’t swipe them and clicking on the arrow is too fiddly. At best they’re clunky, often squashing your content into unhelpful sizes and spaces, and forcing an unnatural swiping motion when we’re used to scrolling.
5. They’re not good for people with disabilities
Something often overlooked when designing websites is its accessibility. Screen readers (which read website content to visually impaired users) can really struggle with the lack of organisation and hierarchy that a slider presents to them.
6. It weakens your message
One of my biggest issues with sliders is the lack of clear messaging. When someone hits your website you need to know what you’re driving them to do, but sliders are often used as a way to avoid asking the tough question: ‘What is our primary message/action?’ Sliders let you pick four or five core messages or asks, and this results in a diluted message and lower conversion rate.
What do you think? Have you seen any websites where using a slider has worked really well? Or any stories of ditching your slider and seeing an increase in conversion rates?