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Each slide in our new carousel will have: - A text Heading - A text Tagline - An image - An hyperlink(s)

This carousel is part of a CMS and will soon become available to content owners and because of this we need to set some limitations so each slide meets branding and readability guidelines.

At the moment, each slide is 600px wide, the 300px on the left is a div that contains the Heading and the Tagline. The 300px on the right is a div that contains the image.

If there is only one link for this slide:

  • Should the entire slide be the hyperlink? or,
  • Should just the image be the hyperlink? or,
  • Should just the text be the hyperlink? or,
  • Should I insert a "Read More" button to sit on top of the image/below the tagline?

Can each slide have multiple links? If so: - (assuming these multiple links are made up from separate hyperlinks within the tagline sentence) what link (if at all) should we assign to the image?

I have had a good search through the forum and see mention of topics discussing # of slides and usefulness of carousels (that was a funny read) but nothing about the internal structure of a slide.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Having a link or button is always a good idea, because users know how they work. If you make the whole box clickable, some users might not be able to discover it.

You should link the image as well.

You might have an issue with smaller targets, such as links and buttons, if the carousel rotation is triggered by a timer, and you do not pause the rotation on mouseover? You need to make sure that the panel will not slip under the user's mouse, while trying to click on the "show more info" link.

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"Read More" is an effective Call To Action and I wouldn't omit it, it's become fairly standard on news sites (Like a similar concept in Accordion style on CNN's Newspulse).

Note with Newspulse they follow some good practices: The cursor turns into a pointer style when hovering over the clickable elements, and the text color changes as well to suggest clickability as is standard with hyperlinks, though in CNN's case they operate on the page itself, rather than opening new pages.

I can't suggest a button, this solution seems rarely used in this context and while buttons are familiar they're stylisticly awkward for this case; printing "Read More..." in a similar but emphasized font can help keep it noticable but fitting with the text of the carousel. In addition buttons are usually for actions, making a button open a new page is unusual, users may well expect a read more button to show them more content on the same page. That doesn't sound like what you're doing unless I'm mistaken.

If the whole slide is the link, users may be more confused as to what clicking it will do. Clicking "Read More" is fairly obvious and clicking an image has become a standard way of linking more content (but I wouldn't depend on it as there is no copy guiding this action). Making the whole slide clickable causes you to lose focus; instead of only giving the option when the user is presumably looking for "Read More" links you're always giving them the option. What if they just wanted to copy some of the text to share with someone or they were just moving around the page?

If you make the image a link, make it the same link as "Read More". Users are likely going to only use either the link or Read More link, not both. Most users would probably never know both options lead to different links--and why would they?

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As always, it depends.

There is no one better way to have a link. Using a text link v. a button are different in many ways and each is a better or worse choice for a different situation.

Given your situation, making the image a link is likely a good idea as people are getting used to that pattern. If I see an image and I want to know more about it, I instinctively click on it.

If you are going to only allow one hyperlink per slide, then the choice of a text link/button or the whole slide being the link is really a choice of active area v discoverability. A button is the most discoverable, but also potentially the most disruptive to the design. A text link is clean and fairly decent discoverability wise.

I would most likely go for showing a text link, but making the whole slide the active area.

As always, test it. What works best with your customers is the right answer, regardless of anyone else's opinion.

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