Web designers are always looking for new, creative ways to present information. Just a few years ago, slide shows seemed to be the answer. They became very popular on many of the bigger blogs and entertainment sites, and they also caught on as a technique for showing portfolios in a more interactive way. But does this all add up to smart, effective Calgary website design, or are slide shows a thing of the past?
What Can a Slide Show Do For Your Site?
In 2009, if you wanted your site to look hip, hot and happening, you found a way to incorporate a slider. They looked cool, and everyone wanted one on their site, and they weren’t just about style. There was solid thinking behind using them, and in some cases, there still is. A well-designed slide show makes it possible to fit a lot of content into a relatively small space in a very organized manner.
Slide shows can help users to save time and stay focused on content by quickly previewing stories without having to move the mouse or scroll vertically. And, most importantly, they are familiar. Users understand them. No one has to be taught how to interact with a slide show.
Functionality is just one of the factors to consider when making decisions about your Calgary website design. Your ultimate decision should be based on the overall impact sliders will have on your site. As David Abramson writes on Make Yourself Visible, they should, “add value by solidifying the branding and trust in the company. They don’t highlight special deals or offers or try to convert all by themselves.”
If you decide to use slide shows on your site, be sure to consider these tips to keep them attractive and user-friendly:
- Focus on content. Avoid adding unnecessary features that could slow your users down.
- Place buttons on either side or directly above or below the slideshow.
- Provide manual and automatic options, so a user can move to a specific slide quickly and easily.
- Keep the look of your buttons, transitions, and borders consistent with the overall style of your site’s design.
What’s Wrong With a Slide Show?
- They look good and people like them. Isn’t that enough? It might be if you have a portfolio of beautiful images or products to sell on your site. Unfortunately, there can be disadvantages.
- They can look like advertisements, so some of your visitors will ignore them completely.
- Slide shows often give users too many options, forcing them to interrupt their reading and make choices. Testing has shown that slide shows can create “banner blindness”, causing users, as Erik Runyon at ConversionXL points out, to even miss content placed on the most prominent slide. Your Calgary website design should be about converting qualified leads, not discouraging them.
- When you have multiple messages on your home page, your message is weakened. Content gets fragmented and pushed down, and that hurts SEO.
- With a multitude of mobile devices of different screen sizes, they don’t always display correctly and can be difficult to use. Scrolling, on the other hand, is simple and familiar, on any device. In this time of skyrocketing mobile web use, no one can risk alienating users on the go.
- Some slide shows use Flash, which can be slow on desktops and rarely works well on mobile devices.
- Need more reasons? Take look at the hairstyles in your high school yearbook. What’s fashionable isn’t always the best choice. You need the guidance of the experienced professionals at Emphasize Design to help you make the right choices. Check out our free ebook: 7 Easy Ways to Make Your Website More Effective.
Everyone wants an eye-catching site. A slide show can be an attractive choice, but there’s more to a great Calgary website design than making it look good. Your site should be your company’s most important online tool, and you can’t afford to make mistakes, which is why the team at Emphasize Design offers a full range of services, including website design and development, content management, pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization.