Sliders = Distraction

By November 26, 2015Tuesday teardown

In summary:

  • In this Tuesday teardown we look at Dimension Data, a big global systems integrator.
  • The practical lesson from today is don’t use sliders (sliding images) on your website. They distract viewers, reducing the chances of them taking action (or remembering anything).

Websites referenced in this teardown:

Transcript of this teardown

Hi, I’m Steve Pell. I’m here to do a marketing teardown where we look at a B2B website from a practical perspective, to improve your return on digital and content marketing.

Today I’m looking at Dimension Data, a big systems integrator that you’re probably familiar with.  I’m going to talk about “sliding images” or “sliders”. If you’re not familiar with what a slider is, you’ll see them at the top of the Dimension Data website, where it’s sliding through with a whole bunch of different content.

The practical lesson from today is don’t do this ever. Never use sliders. They’re a terrible user experience.

If you want an example of why that is, just try and watch this video without getting constantly distracted by the slides going through, step-by-step, behind me. It’s really hard.  Distraction is one of the big reasons that sliders deliver a bad user experience.

As I’ve talked about a lot on these marketing teardowns, your website is basically just another sales person. How would you really react if a salesperson came into a meeting with you and threw down eight different presentations and said, “Okay, what do you want to talk about?” It wouldn’t be a very good sales meeting. There’s no real structure. There’s no thinking. It’s just a whole bunch of options. It’s “choose your own adventure”.

That’s not a good way to structure and sales meeting and it’s not a good way to structure a website either.

The reason I’m highlighting Dimension Data is it’s not just one slider at the top of their website. It’s one slider at the top, then another slider here, then another slider down the bottom.

This means you’ve got 8x8x8 different user experiences that you can experience when you come to this website. That’s a huge number of different configurations and there’s no consistency in what you’re going to see.

There’s no effort that’s been made to say, “We think someone coming to our website wants to experience, wants to find out more about A, B, C or D, and then they’re going to come through and convert in this manner because they’re going to subscribe to our content funnel.”

It’s just throwing information out and hoping. I was really quite amazed when I found these three sliders – it’s just a constant distraction as you work through this website.

One of the key questions I get when I talk to clients about sliders is, “But all our competitors are doing these, shouldn’t we do them as well?”

The reason that a lot of businesses use doing sliders is that they are seeing their competitors use them. But there’s a huge amount of research that supports that sliders just do not work. They don’t lead to people converting more on your website. They don’t lead to more revenue. They don’t lead to more subscription/contact us style engagements.

What they do is they keep distracting someone who is trying to immerse themselves in your content and get to know you better. As I’m working down this page, it’s very hard to read anything because I’ve got things moving on every side of the content. These sliders prevent engagement.

If you want to get stuck more into the research, there’s plenty of it down below that you can click through. I’d encourage you to see how much this really does damage the user experience of someone who is coming to find out more and engage with your website.

The key takeaway from today is do not use sliders. It’s that simple.

Take a strong perspective around how someone is going to have the best user experience on your website and how you’re going to win deeper engagement – where they’re buying or subscribing or contacting you for more information. At the end of the day, your website is a sales experience, so treat it that way.

If this has been helpful for you and you’d like to conduct a similar kind of audit experience of your website where we can work through in a bunch of detail and figure out ways that you can convert more people on your website, we have a process at TLP called the Content Audit where we’ll give you a 90-page report looking at these factors in a lot of detail. We run that in 14 days and you’ll get all the information to make sure you’ve got a better conversion experience on your website, specifically for B2B businesses.

You can just click below and there’s plenty more details.

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