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Ever landed on a website and been hit with the digital equivalent of a Vegas marquee? Of course, you have!
You’ve probably had a hangover as well, which is almost as disorienting and just as offensive to the senses.
Yeah, yeah, I’m talking about sliders, carousels, and other such animated elements of a web design trend that just won’t die, and the flashy faux pas of the World Wide Web.
Today, I’ll be taking a not so “deep dive” into why decking your website out with these gizmos is like throwing a neon “Closed for Business” sign on your homepage.
So slap on your swim trunks and hold your nose as we jump into the polluted pool of website woes created by sliders and other animated elements.
The Irresistible Allure of Bells & Whistles
So why, after so many years, do some businesses still use sliders and other animations on their websites?
Well, on the surface, it’s the irresistible allure of bells and whistles that drives them to bog down their website with boatloads of whizbang and whatnot.
But beneath that is an overwhelming insecurity driven by the fear that “if we don’t dazzle visitors and capture their attention, we’re going to lose them”.
Why the insecurity? Well, quite often, it’s simply due to the fact that they’re not happy with their website, and they’ve seen others that have lots of bells and whistles.
But if we take a closer look it’s usually because the messaging on there website isn’t compelling enough on it’s own.
And so they feel the need to pile on the bells and whistles, hoping that their audience is going to be so impressed by their animations that they become customers.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and if they’re not regularly analyzing and testing their site to identify weak spots, they’ll never know.
1. They’re Slower Than a Snail on Sedatives
Picture this: you’re excited to check out a new website. You click the link and… wait. And wait. And wait some more. Wait a minute…what are you waiting for?
Oh yeah, some genius decided to cram the homepage with a merry-go-round of images and animations that load at the pace of a glacier in the dead of winter.
Slow load times are the number one customer repellant. If your site takes longer to load than it takes to brew a pot of coffee, you’ve lost the race before you even started.
Sure, there ARE plenty of sliders out there that do load quickly if properly set up, but ultimately, they still require a ton of resources that have a negative impact on load time.
2. I Haven’t Got Time For This!
In today’s world we’re all in a rush, particularly when we’re searching for information on the internet.
Even if a slider or animation is optimized for lightning quick load times, most visitors just don’t have the time, or the desire to deal with them.
According to this study by the Nielsen Norman Group, most visitors ignore sliders and other animations because they can’t be bothered with them.
3. Wait, What Did You Just Say?
Sliders are the digital equivalent of a hyperactive squirrel. Just when you’re about to focus on one thing, whoosh, it’s gone, replaced by something entirely different.
But what about your core message? Where did it go? Lost in a sea of moving images and flashy transitions!
It’s like trying to have a heart-to-heart in a nightclub – nobody’s getting anything out of that conversation.
4. They’re Irritating
When visitors are on your site, they want to be in control of the experience they’re having. Sliders and other animations hijack their sense of control.
5. Mobile Unfriendliness: The Thumb Scroller’s Nightmare
Ever tried navigating a slider on your phone? It’s like trying to thread a needle while riding a rollercoaster.
In a world where most web traffic is mobile, having a website that’s as mobile-friendly as a porcupine in a balloon factory is a one-way ticket to Obscurityville.
6. Accessibility: The Forgotten Child
Here’s a fun fact: not everyone experiences the web the same way. Sliders and their flashy friends often throw a wrench in the works for people with disabilities.
It’s like hosting a party and forgetting to invite half of your friends. Rude, right? Plus, ignoring web accessibility standards is a legal minefield you don’t want to tiptoe through.
7. SEO Disadvantages: Playing Hide and Seek with Google
Want to play a losing game? Use sliders packed with text and essential info. Search engines treat this like a game of hide-and-seek and spoiler alert: they’re not great at seeking. You’re basically giving your website a one-way ticket to Nowheresville in search engine rankings.
8. Overused and Cliché: The Vanilla Ice Cream of Web Design
Sliders are the vanilla ice cream of web design – safe, predictable, and utterly forgettable.
Want to stand out? Ditch the slider and opt for something with a bit more personality. Like a static hero image with a compelling message that’s memorable.
The Bottom Line: Just Don’t.
So there you have it, folks. A heart-to-heart about why sliders and animated elements on your website are about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Remember, in the cutthroat world of online business, the name of the game is user experience, accessibility, and performance.
Don’t let a fancy but ineffective design be the anchor that drags you down to the murky depths of Internet irrelevance.
Think of your website as the digital front door to your business. You wouldn’t slap a revolving door that’s prone to jamming on your brick-and-mortar shop, right?
So why do the digital equivalent? It’s time to ditch the disco ball aesthetics and focus on what truly matters – creating a seamless, engaging experience for your visitors.
And hey, if you’re still clinging to your sliders and animations like a security blanket, consider this your intervention.
The web is a wild, ever-changing beast, and what worked in 1999 (hello, Flash animations) isn’t going to cut it in today’s mobile-first, speed-obsessed online world. It’s time to evolve or get left in the digital dust.
So next time you’re brainstorming your website design, remember that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leave the sliders to the playgrounds and the unnecessary animations in the cartoons. Your users (and your bottom line) will thank you.
Had a Slider Nightmare? Tell Me About It!
Have you got any horror stories about sliders and animations gone wrong? I’d love to hear them!
Drop a comment below, or better yet, if you’re ready to take your website from a digital dinosaur to a sleek, efficient machine, get in touch. I promise, no sliders included.
Stay savvy, stay slider-free.