Who gets on board a spinning carousel?

Do you have one of those “carousel” features on your website, which show a series of images and messages, probably automatically scrolling by? If you do, or if you might be tempted to have one next time you get your home page redesigned, it might be worth reading Carousels on Brad Frost Web. The author reckons this is why a good number of carousels exist:

INT. MEETING ROOM
“I’m very important! I need to be on the homepage!”
“I’m also very important! I need to be on the homepage too!”
“I’m very very important, I need to be on the homepage three!”
“Let’s make a carousel! Everybody wins!”
THE GROUP HIGH FIVES AND CELEBRATES OVER A BLOOMIN’ ONION AT OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE.
END SCENE

Carousel on Barclays website

Carousels force users to identify their individual controls, conventions and behaviours, says the author, all for little reward. In fact, they may actually “annoy users and also cause them to skip over that featured area”. If you do use them, the way to navigate them (to get to the next slide) needs to be really obvious. Clicking on those little dots just won’t do. They should also feature related items. Regardless of that, accept that few people will see the second or subsequent slides, and even fewer will do so through their own volition. That alone should make you wonder whether they’re worth it. As one of the commenters on that article says, “Carousels in my experience were introduced as a temporary compromise to make everybody equally unhappy.” But as he continues: “Hey, at least it’s democratic”.

» Carousels on Brad Frost Web

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