Using Sliders in Web Design

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Categorized in:

Sliders, also known as picture sliders or carousels, are a common sight when browsing the internet. Many websites include sliders as a part of their web design. There are mixed reviews when it comes to sliders. Some people love them, some people hate them. There is a case to be made for both sides. Here, we look into the pros and cons of using sliders in web design:

Sliders Can Be Effective

One benefit to using sliders in website design is that they allow a lot of information to be incorporated into a reduced space. If you can condense the information to fit inside the space allotted, visitors can view it quickly and move on to the next. Sliders can be engaging when done correctly. If they don’t move at lightning speed, visitors can consume the content and image and successfully retain what they learned. If a slider is user controlled, meaning it doesn’t move to the next slide on its own, the user can focus on what’s in front of them and move to the next slide when they are ready.

Little Benefit to Digital Marketing

Using sliders in web design is not necessary for a successful digital marketing strategy. Sliders on your website can create distraction for your visitors. If they come to your website hoping to read about your business or products and services, sliders can divide their attention and they may become distracted and never resume reading your high-quality content. If your sliders contain text to explain each product or service, they probably won’t have the chance to finish reading one when the slider changes to the next.

Sliders also take up valuable space. If they aren’t being clicked on, they are taking away from useful content, infographics, or other content that visitors will consume. If you decide to put important information within a slider, for example, you run the very high risk of it never being seen. You would be better off creating text content to get that information across.

The Visual Aspect

The visual aspect of sliders in web design seems to be one people are most divided on. The pros to sliders are that they can be a great way for a business or brand to share their best products with visitors. You can show the variety of what you have to offer within a limited space. One by one, your products will be placed in front of people’s eyes. You can curate your carousel and choose to share the specific products you want to be showcased. If you can draw your audience in with the first slide, they are more likely to stick around for the rest.

On the opposite end, sliders on websites can cause ad blindness. When people see advertisements online day in and day out, they begin to ignore them or they barely register in their mind at all because they are so commonplace. Sliders can appear like advertisements to many people and will therefore run the risk of not being noticed at all.

Website Slider Disadvantages

Before making a final decision on using sliders in your website design, you should consider the following disadvantages:

  • Slider plugins can be mobile-unfriendly. Resizing on phones results in images and text becoming too small to view.
  • Sliders can slow down your website as they are resource-heavy. This will not only frustrate visitors but negatively impact your SEO.
  • Slider controls aren’t easy to spot. This is especially true on mobile phones, but on websites they are often designed in such a way as to not be intrusive to the design.

Choosing to use sliders in web design should be weighed carefully. While they can be effective, they may pose more risk than it’s worth to your digital marketing strategy.


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