5 Reasons Why Sliders are Bad for Web Page Design

Think you want sliders in your web page design? Think again.

Ah, image sliders. Once upon a time, they were a must-have component of any successful web page design. Popular opinion dictated that these beautiful (and sometimes helpful) website design techniques must appear on everyone’s homepage. The problem was that they actually detracted from a visitor’s experience and worked against you. Here are 5 reasons why …

Why sliders are bad for website design


People tend to ignore image sliders

Most users come to a webpage looking for something specific. Image sliders only distract them. You might think visitors to your website would like a series of cool photos in constant rotation on your homepage, but trust me (and the people who conduct usability studies,) they don’t. According to Lee Duddell, the Founder and UX Director at WhatUsersDo, a usability testing firm:

“Rotating image sliders are next to useless for users … and often ‘skipped’ because they look like advertisements.”

Duddell continues to state that in web page design, sliders are “a good technique for getting useless information on a homepage.¹” As you can imagine, this is quite counterproductive to what you actually want: putting the most important information in front of your visitor as quickly as possible.

. . . . . . . .

Sliders generally don’t work well on mobile devices – regardless of responsive web design

Did you know that 60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile phones – and that percentage is only expected to grow (according to mobile search and marketing statistics for 2018). That means that a user’s experience on their mobile device is of paramount importance. It’s also something that needs to be accounted for in your web page design.

There are myriad reasons that sliders don’t work well on mobile devices, including teeny text, misaligned images, and long load times (more on that later). Whatever the reason, if your website designer put a slider as the first thing people see on the home page, there’s a good chance people won’t stay on your site for long enough to take the action you want … ie, buying something or scheduling an appointment. Which brings us to the next issue with sliders:

Subscribe Now

Get our amazing “How to Create Your Dream Website” workbook + lots of other great resources for growing your business online.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Image sliders are made for display, not action

(and let’s be honest – “action” is what you really, really want)

In the prehistoric times of the internet (aka the late 1990s), websites were such a novelty that people would spend lots of time scrolling around, looking at images and animated gifs, waiting for pages to load, and oohing and aahing at the wonder of it all.

Those days are long gone. Now, people rely on the internet to find things they want, research them, and take action. If your website can’t provide that, people will happily move onto one that can (or get distracted by funny cat videos on YouTube).

Creating a site that gets a visitor to take action is the most important part of successful web page design.

When a visitor takes action, this is known as a “conversion.” The higher your conversion rate, the more business you get from leads, sales, appointments, etc. What a slider does is pour freezing cold water on the warm excitement felt by your potential customer when they visit your site. Recent usability studies show that less than 1% of users click on the images in a rotating slider; which is just sad, certainly for the slider, but even more so for your company.

. . . . . . . .

Image sliders may annoy your potential customers

First, let’s establish the fact that everyone is in a huge hurry these days. We demand efficiency in all things – especially in web page design. Now, let’s imagine the experience of a potential customer or client visiting your homepage. When they arrive, they are greeted with a large image slider. Sure, it’s pretty to look at – but it probably doesn’t provide the information they need in the mere instant it takes for someone to decide if they’re staying on a website.

Or, even worse, the slider does have the information your visitor needs. However, by the time they move the mouse (or finger) to click on it, the slider has moved. Now, instead of going to a page they want to see, they are on something completely different. While some people might click “back,” most visitors will just get annoyed, leave your site, and head over to Facebook instead.

This sort of experience with sliders is such an issue in website design, they have been deemed by some to be “the scourge of home page design.”  Which means sliders do not equate to good web page design, at all.

 

Sliders slow down your page and fail site speed tests

Site speed is of paramount importance these days. As we previously established, everyone is in a hurry these days. No one wants to wait for a website to load – especially not on a mobile device. In fact,

47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. 40 percent of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site. ³

Sliders add a lot of weight to your page. They also require extra JavaScript to work properly, which slows down your site even more. And what do users do while waiting for your page to load? Why they go somewhere else, of course. And that, my friend, is the last thing you want.


If sliders are so bad for conversions, why do people use them in web page design?

Full disclosure, we have used sliders in our web design services. Even though they don’t convert, they are nice to look at. More importantly, our clients sometimes insist on them. And that’s ok. We’re here to offer you our opinion from a web design company standpoint, but in the end, it’s your decision. That said, here’s what Karl Gilis, owner of AGConsult and renowned conversion expert, has to say:

“Sliders only exist because web designers love them. And because they make the life of the web team easy: they can give every department or product division a place on the homepage. And they don’t have to make choices.

But it’s not your job to make your colleagues happy. It’s your job to make your visitors happy. And to sell. And that’s the biggest problem with sliders: they don’t convert. Never did and never will. ²

So, have we swayed you? Will you be using a slider in your next web page design project? Let us know in the comments.

New on the blog

Reading a blog and having a coffee
Featured Resources

How Do I Get My Blog Post Noticed?

Learn 13 ways to get people to read your blog post
Ready to learn all about brand marketing?
Featured Resources

Brand Marketing: 10 Easy Ways to Communicate Your Message

Here are ten key communication strategy ideas that you can implement today.
a person on a laptop with charts representing google ads management services
Featured Resources

How Long Does SEO Take?

Successful SEO takes at least 6-8 months to see results ... now, learn why.

About Goodman Creatives

Your business has an abundance of moving parts … wouldn’t it be great if someone could manage all of them? From website design to strategy planning, marketing, social media, and beyond, we’re your 1-stop shop for “getting you out there.”

We understand what it means to run a local business and the challenges of growing it online. We happen to help businesses like yours every day.

GO AHEAD ... ASK US ANYTHING

MARKETING

A beautiful website is useless if people don’t visit it. To get more loyal customers, you’ve got to build brand awareness and actively ensure that people find it online. That’s what we specialize in, and our a-la-carte marketing offerings fit any budget.

LEARN MORE
Professional website design for therapists

WEB DESIGN

The internet is our canvas – and our passion is creating beautiful websites that connect deeply with your dream client. Think of it like you’re commissioning a custom work of art, where the end product is optimized to get you more business.

LEARN MORE

Get started for free

No matter where you are in the process, these valuable resources will help you learn all about online marketing and web design … with a few personal anecdotes in for good measure.

BONUS. Sign up now and get instant access to our comprehensive website planner.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

GOODMAN CREATIVES

GOODMAN CREATIVES