So You Want an Image Slider

Image sliders are more than common on corporate websites, so it’s nothing new to the average user. But if your potential clients have seen it a thousand times, why not mix it up a little? Image sliders serve multiple purposes, by communicating the primary messages to users visually while still supplying them with the information they are likely looking for. I’m going to walk you through some best practices when it comes expressing your key message through the image slider.

The number of primary messages your website is promoting and your slider images go hand-in-hand. Your users are certainly not going to flip through a large number of images on the homepage, you likely only have a few seconds to make an impression before they leave your site. That is, unless you can catch their attention, leading them deeper into your website. Whether you’re promoting a new product, a high-quality service, or expressing your business’s corporate culture, it’s important to reach your visitors on an emotional level. Each slide should contain a single message, and whatever that message is should not be based on the message alone. It’s far more effective to show potential clients the benefits of using your products/services than it is to try and explain everything in detail. Take this bike image for example – instead of just saying something along the lines of ‘Now selling bikes without brakes’, the message connects with the site’s users by providing a great quote that promotes an experience. The experience is what their potential clients are looking for, and the bike is what is going to provide them with that unique experience. Even though I may not be interested in buying a bike without brakes, I am still intrigued by what I’m sure is quite the adrenaline rush!

Because your time is limited to show users what you’re business is all about, keep things simpler than simple. At most, a single image slider could contain a short heading, with less than a sentence’s description. Remember, you want the visuals to do most of the talking, not the text.

Because the slider images typically takes up a lot of real estate on the homepage, great high-quality photography is mandatory. When selecting images for your slider, make sure that the focal point of the image is not cut off anywhere that would restrict it’s positioning within the slide. So if the focus of the image is of a person from the waist up, make sure that no elbows or the top of their head goes beyond the edge of the photo. Use this slider image as an example – the focus of the image is on the face of this lovely girl, with the rest of her shoulders to the top of her hair slightly out of focus. If the top of her head was outside of the shot, the designer would have had to move the image up to the top to still get the full effect.

But what if you only have one message? Not every company has a million things going on at the same time, after all. This actually opens up a lot of possibilities for customization. When designing an image slider, we usually have to take into consideration that the client may change the image, text and message at any time. However, if there is only one message, we can pay a lot more attention to detail and really nail down an effective message.

On the contrary, if you have a lot of messages or information you want users to see right away, having a ton of slides is probably not the answer. Because most users only spend a few seconds glancing at a homepage, and of those users only a few users take the time to go through all of the slider images. It may be best to take another approach, such as listing the messages in front of an attractive background, or giving them a preview of what the upcoming slides contain.

If you’re looking for a creative website that can help you inform and excite your potential clients, give Spincaster a call or email us, we would love to hear from you!