Webpage carousels — also known as sliders or slideshows — have been a popular feature on websites for many years. They provide a way for website owners to showcase multiple messages, products or services, or images in a small amount of space. However, there has been a growing debate about the effectiveness of carousels in recent years. In this article, we will explore the mystique of webpage carousels, and examine whether people use them and if they are effective.
Overall, website visitors do interact with carousels, somewhat, but the question is whether they do so in a meaningful way. A study by Erik Runyon in 2013 found that only 1% of website visitors clicked on a slide in a carousel, and of those, 84% clicked on the first slide. This means that the other slides in the carousel were largely ignored. Another study by Yoast in 2018 found that only 1.61% of website visitors interacted with a carousel on a website, with the majority of clicks occurring on the first slide.
So, the data shows that people do use carousels, but they aren’t as effective as website owners may hope. But are carousels effective in achieving their intended purpose? The answer to this question is a bit more complex. On one hand, carousels can be effective at showcasing multiple messages or products in a small amount of space, which can be particularly useful on mobile devices. Carousels can also be useful for drawing attention to new or featured content, as well as breaking up text-heavy pages with visually engaging content.
However, carousels can also be ineffective or even harmful in certain situations. If the content in the carousel is not relevant or engaging to the user, it may simply be ignored. Carousels can also slow down page load times, which can be frustrating for users and lead to higher bounce rates. In addition, carousels can be difficult to navigate for users with disabilities, such as those who rely on screen readers or who have motor impairments.
So, are webpage carousels worth including on your website? The answer is that it depends on your specific situation. If you have relevant, engaging content to showcase and your website design can accommodate a carousel without slowing down load times or causing accessibility issues, then a carousel may be an effective tool. However, if your carousel is not engaging, slows down page load times, or is difficult to navigate for some users, it may be better to find other ways to showcase your content.
In conclusion, webpage carousels have a certain mystique, but whether they are effective or not depends on a variety of factors. While people do use carousels, they may not do so in a meaningful way, and carousels can be both effective and ineffective depending on the situation. As with any website design element, it is important to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of using carousels and make a decision based on your specific needs and goals.