Sliders for the site and factors affecting their usability
On commercial sites, especially when it comes to online stores, today you can often find sliders, or so-called “carousels,” – site design elements in which slides with photos or text information are shown in a single block at a certain speed. In order for the slider not only to remain an element of attracting attention on the site, but also to facilitate the conversion of visitors into customers or customers, it is important to pay attention to the issue of its usability.
Using the sliders on the sites, it is convenient to demonstrate promotional offers, new items, bestsellers. Thanks to the animation and usually quite large sizes, the sliders always attract visitors’ eyes and thereby help to draw their attention to important information. But with improper use, the sliders can not only not help, but even interfere with the effective operation of the site.
To prevent this from happening, at the very beginning of the creation of the site or during its redesign, you should pay attention to some of the main factors affecting the usability of the carousel. Among them are the following.
Slide sequence in the carousel
A typical site visitor is unlikely to linger on the main page long enough to have time to see all the slides in the “carousel”. Therefore, the sequence of slides becomes very important, because the one that the user sees first will most likely attract the most attention. As a result, it is recommended that the information that the user needs to show first be placed on the first slide.
As a rule, in the “carousels” slides are “turned over” automatically – after a certain period of time. For the slider to work properly, it is important that visitors have time to see the contents of each slide, so you need to set the time for the slide show. For example, 5-7 seconds for an average user may be enough. to see the image on the slider and read the title. But if there is also a text description on the slide, then the time needs to be increased – up to 10 seconds or even more.
In order for website visitors to always understand which slide in the “carousel” is shown to them, and if they wish to independently “flip through” the slides, it is customary to always highlight the current slide in some way and place navigation elements, for example, arrows, in the “carousel”. At the same time, the dimensions of the navigation elements must be sufficient so that they are clearly visible, and the color of these elements must be contrasted with the images below them on the slides.
Automatic “flipping” of slides
Automatic slide change is convenient, it attracts attention, but there are several cases where it is important to pause it. It is about hovering the mouse over the slide or clicking on the slide with the mouse: it is obvious that in this situation the site visitor is interested in the slide, which means that he needs to give time for more detailed study. For this, the automatic “flipping” should be stopped.
Features of use on mobile devices
When used on mobile devices, the behavior of the sliders on the sites will differ from the desktop version. Indeed, in this case, firstly, it is necessary to proportionally reduce the size of the slides in accordance with the screen sizes of mobile devices, and secondly, it is required to take into account the peculiarities of sensory interaction with the site. In particular, due to the absence of such an event as mouse hovering, it is usually recommended not to use the automatic slide change in the “carousel”, but it is recommended to enable support for “swipe” and other touch gestures.
Among other things, it is important to note that to ensure usability, a carousel should never become the only means of access to the materials that are placed in it. Otherwise, if there are problems with the slider, visitors will not be able to see this information and will not even know at all that it is. Thus, always to the information posted on the slides of the “carousel”, visitors one way or another should have alternative access.