Auto-Forwarding Carousels And Accordions Annoy Users And Reduce Visibility

​If you have a website — and especially if you design websites for others — it’s worth paying attention to the Nielson Norman Group’s opinions on website usability.

Many site owners and designers don’t bother with user testing and instead rely on trends, personal preferences, advice from the vocal minority, etcetera. That may be fine, but it certainly can be illuminating to read the findings of a company that is squarely focused on how websites meet goals rather than their aesthetics. The point of a website is to do a job, yes?

In a 2013 article Jakob Nielson slays a couple of sacred cows of website design: auto-advancing messaging carousels (a.k.a. “sliders”) and banner-style links to internal content.

The main points are:

  • auto-advancing sliders hide content and frustrate users
  • sliders should only be advanced by user-control
  • banner-style links that look like ads are often ignored

If tempted to use an auto-moving slider you might instead consider what content should really be prioritized and shown first, with all other content hidden until requested.

Just a few more things to consider when trying to make your website(s) more user-friendly.

Read the article


Earlier Post: 10 Business Tips From Designer Bill Drenttel

Later Post: Use icon fonts in your next design!

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