Don’t Use Automatic Image Sliders or Carousels, all they do is distract

I’m sure you’ve come across dozens, if not hundreds of image sliders or carousels (also called ‘rotating offers’). You might even like them. But the truth is that they’re conversion killers.

So if they’re not effective, why do people use them? 2 reasons:

  • Some people think they’re cool. But cool does not make you money – at least not this way.
  • Different departments and managers want to get their message on the home page. Design by committee never fails to fail.

What the tests say

I’m not alone. Pretty much any conversion agency that does a lot of tests says the same thing:

We have tested rotating offers many times and have found it to be a poor way of presenting home page content.

Chris Goward, Wider Funnel

Rotating banners are absolutely evil and should be removed immediately.

Tim Ash, Site Tuners

Jakob Nielsen (yes, the usability guru) confirms this in tests. They ran a usability study where they gave users the following task: “Does Siemens have any special deals on washing machines?”. The information was on the most prominent slide. The users could not see it – totally hit by banner blindness. Nielsen concludes the sliders are ignored.

Notre Dame university tested it too. Only the first slide got some action (1%!), other slides hardly got clicked on at all. 1% of clicks for something that takes up (more than) half the page?

Product design guru Luke Wroblweski summed it up like this:

no sliders is better for conversions

There’s a discussion about automatic sliders on StackExchange UX.

Here are some of the things different people who tested them said:

Almost all of the testing I’ve managed has proven content delivered via