As mentioned in Web Design Trends for 2017, the carousel's time is up.
They have always been bad for SEO, users don’t engage with them, they can easily be mistaken as adverts, create banner blindness, flicker, decrease readability and slow down the download time. Overall, not very user friendly.
So why have carousels even been used before, what is the idea behind them and can they be improved?
Their best feature is that they create space where there isn’t any. Using carousels makes it easy to highlight more than one offer and it can potentially be a good way to make the user engage. It is just not doing it in the most efficient way.
Thankfully, due to the creative nature of designers and the increasing interest in user’s needs we have alternatives that give better conversion rates and happier users. They are not rotating, and not called carousels anymore. These are some of the options available:
Basic, and like any basic option it serves as a good basis for endless ideas. It can be used to feature a product or act.
Engage with a storytelling, full-screen image and highlight an important action
Fill out the full screen without prioritising between products, showing more than one option at the same time.
Have you found yourself staring at the screen when it was just a pretty background video? Users find videos easy to engage with.
The advantage of a great background video is that the user can still easily scan through the page without distracting flashing images but they can also choose to immerse themselves in a video that tells them a bit more about where they have just landed.
Everyone loves animations. They bring life into the design, are engaging and in most cases, very different from what you would envision.
It has been around for a while and it is not going anywhere (see our 2017 trends) Google material design made it interesting (again).
But if all you want is to get a clear message across with no distractions, then you still have options.
Large font, unmissable, clear and easy to scan. Less interpretation, more easy reading.
With the increased time we spend looking at screens and all the information, it is a relief to occasionally have something almost neutral coming up on the screen; showing just what you want to know without distractions.
Lacking the tools to make everyone happy is not an excuse anymore. Delivering relevant content based on location, interest, user history, habit, behaviour or preferences is easier than ever.
As a conclusion, the first impression should be inviting and comforting instead of overwhelming. With connected devices and AI, in future will a spa's webpage have your chair give you a real back massage while you peruse what's on offer via your VR headset? Or will looking at a page become irrelevant as Amazon's Echo and Google Home tells you what you're likely to want as soon as you say it? We'll just have to wait and see....