What is an image carousel on a webpage?
Carousel slideshows and sliding banners have been around forever but are slowly starting to come back in use. Image carousels are more popular now than ever before. The thing about image carousels is that they allow you to showcase multiple pieces of content that occupy the same position.
Carousels also add a certain element of dynamic to your website, and as for whether or not they are effective? They most certainly are in specific contexts. In the context of a webpage, image carousels are mostly used to display a product and its variants, the sliding banner method is best used to spotlight products.
Here are some features of carousels:
- More often than not make an appearance on the top of the homepage
- They occupy a substantial section of the ‘above fold’ area
- Allows you to display a variety of elements in the same space
- There is usually some element of navigation that indicates the presence of more variants
- Consists of information on the organization’s brand, mission, and vision
Some guidelines that ensure a good carousel design are as follows:
- Do not exceed 5 frames in a carousel: Swiping more than 5 times could be seen as taxing by many people, especially on a mobile device. It is a good idea to keep an upper limit of 5 while including, this would also help people in discovering the content faster.
- Use relevant text and image that embodies the character of whatever you are trying to portray The pictures used must be of high quality, moreover there must be a certain synergy between the visual content and the editorial content that has been published.
- Communicate just how many images are there Make an indication of how many images there are on the carousel, this ensures that nothing is missed.
- Make links that are large enough to decipher Buttons that are tiny and really close to each other are extremely ineffective and are easily ignored, it is a good idea to make sure all the controls for navigation are big enough to decipher and are evenly placed.
The biggest and only advantage of employing a carousel method on your web page is that they allow multiple pictures to be displayed in a small amount of space and a small dynamic element to the page. A carousel is only a good option when you want to spotlight a product or multiple products (or a single product from multiple angles)
Carousels have a lot of downsides to them, some of them are as follows:
- The conversion rates of a carousel are low
- They bring with them a whole array of accessibility issues
- The usability of carousels is low
- They don’t perform well enough
- It is not very compatible with search engine optimization
On a concluding note, it would make sense to mention that there are a lot of drawbacks to using a carousel method but they are worth it on occasion.
It is best to take these decisions after some research and testing have been done, but for the most part, unless it is an e-commerce web page or a social media post carousels must be used with caution.