Web design trends: are sliders a conversion killer?

July 8, 2024

It has become standard practice in website design during the past year or so to put an image slideshow at the top of the web page.

It’s a nice cool effect… and let’s face it, web designers like to work with cool effects. I’ve fallen in love with them myself – and my clients like them too.

However, I have to admit to nagging doubts about whether sliders really are the most effective approach when it comes to maximising response from a website. Sliders are slower to load and they are distracting. These are both red flags for conversion rate optimisation experts.

In fact, virtually every conversion rate expert has vehemently opposed the use of sliders – and I’ve decided finally to take notice.

Today I read a test from ‘Which Test Won’ – www.whichtestwon.com – which compared the response rate from three different versions of the same website. One version had a slider, the other two had static images.

web design and the use of sliders
Web page with a slider – the look that most web designers love at the moment.

Suzuki Belgium, conducted this test with the help of AGConsult using Optimizely. There were a total of three variations in this test and all traffic sources were included.

Between these two variations the only thing that changed was how the images were shown in the top header spot. The third variation (see below) with two static images got 54% more clicks than the slider version did!

web design - sliders versus static images
This version, with two static images at the top of the page, got 54% more clicks than the page with the slider.

(The other version tested had 4 static images, and this still got 28% better conversion than the slider.)

This test further proves you should not just blindly follow the latest fashion trends in web design. You must test sliders against static images before making a decision on which is the right option for your website.

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