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Don't Use Sliders

Just about every website seems to have sliders anymore.  Even large well known websites have sliders.  They seem to have a tremendous potential for drawing in customers and displaying more information on a web page.  However, there are pitfalls with using sliders. 

Drawbacks of Using a Slider

One of the drawbacks of using sliders are that they are resource intensive.  Usually sliders have multiple large images that need to load on a site, and each of those images are 1-2 mb.  That is a lot of bandwidth especially with site visitors with slower website speeds.  Speed is essential for a website slow loading speeds can lose a visitors interest without even reading content.  The flashiest most amazing website means nothing if it takes 15 seconds to load. Designing a sticky website that keeps the customer's interest is essential to making the final sale.  good clean minimalistic designs are starting to become more standard than the flashy days of web 1.0.

The main drawback however is that it is a waste of resources to use sliders.  often custom artwork is done, and time is spent reviewing and developing slides to put on your home page slider.  the hope is to advertise products or services so the customer will click through to a new page.  However, in practice there is steep drop off rate on average for the slides following the first.  almost all customers click on the first call to action slide if they click at all. 

Sliders, especially automatic sliders, tend to distract customers, and make it difficult for visitors to orient themselves at t new websites.  Visitors like to feel like they are in control of navigating a website and automatic sliders confuses and irritates them.  In several studies it has been shown that sliders confuse customers and causes them to complete ignore the content on the sliders.  Also, customers see sliders as an advertisement and have a tendency to ignore advertisements on web pages more than authoritative content. 

Simplifying the design can result in a rewarding experience for visitors and increase conversions.  by understanding visitor behavior, we can tailor our energy to maximize revenue. 

What should you do instead?

The best alternative to sliders is build your homepage in a way that is easy for the customer to get the information they need to get to the next step.  Visitors don't like reading on sites.  So minimizing the amount of reading and getting visitors to see vital information first is a must.  A good way to gauge where the customers are looking for that information is by using a heat map.  There are several services out there that provide that capability. 

Cleaning the clutter and adopting a minimalistic web design concept. simplifying it to a simple call to action on the home page, and allowing for quick access to things like navigation links, and search bars that easily visible allow the visitor to move down the sales funnel eventually leading to a higher chance of converting as a sale. 

Creating a minimalistic design doesn’t mean losing the uniqueness of a site, or keeping the design from demonstrating the personality of the company.  It can be challenging sometimes to incorporate that flair in a way that doesn’t overshadow the visitor’s attempt to find the information they want.   A Homepage should have enough content to provide the customer with a company’s unique selling proposition, and where to find out more information.   Things like navigation menus, call to action and search bar should have a prominent appearance.