An article called Your Rotating Headers Don’t Have to Kill Your Conversion Rate on the Conversion Scientist blog makes an interesting read. It examines the annoying rotating sliding image carousel slideshow/sideshow (below), a gimmick which I’ve moaned about in the past. You know the thing: those panels on the home page of half the world’s business websites, where every last product or division in the company whizzes by, to the complete disinterest of the visitors. The panels which make the site look like Compuserve circa 1997. The panels which make it impossible to concentrate on reading messages. The panels like this one:
Designers like them because they look cleverer than they are. Whoever’s managing the website likes them because they keep lots of people happy. And they become “me too”, so everyone feels they should have them. But as the article above says: “Those of us that test websites know one thing: we can almost always get a higher conversion rate with a static image then with rotating header images.”
That’s right. These spinning gallery things do the one thing which you don’t want. They kill the message.
However (and there’s always a “however”) if you have the facility to test things thoroughly, according to the article, it is possible to create a rotating slideshow thing which works. This will involve making each image as small as possible, using a long interval, using a fade instead of a slide, and starting with the highest performing images. A sequence of well-planned and tested images can get a message over more effectively than a static one. But it needs careful thought, and above all, testing. If you’re not able to do that, stick to the single static image.
Read Your Rotating Headers Don’t Have to Kill Your Conversion Rate on the Conversion Scientist blog.