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I came across a question this morning. I've read many studies which demonstrates that carousel aren't effective at all, mainly because they look like banners and users are blind to them. One of the studies I've read is Banner Blindness by Jakob Nielsen.

I'm wondering if the behaviour of IT workers is the same. Personally, I can easily distinguish a banner from a carousel and I often interact with them. Of course, I can't generalize to the whole population.

Is there any available data about that?

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Why do you ask? Are you looking at putting a carousel on a site where IT workers are the target audience? –  JonW Apr 26 '13 at 11:47
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As an IT worker I avoid them as the bubonic plague –  Toni Toni Chopper Apr 26 '13 at 12:48
    
I don't see why they would...carousels are generally used to display content for marketing purposes; IT people don't really interact with marketing more often than anyone else –  Ben Brocka Apr 26 '13 at 14:13
    
I don't think there is any group of people that in –  obelia Apr 26 '13 at 17:01

2 Answers 2

Really carousels are a mean like another to display content and its use depends on context. Like always when talking about UX and UI.

Effectiveness of carousels can only be judged regarding to a context.

Experienced web users (I am pretty sure most IT workers are not) may be more eager to use carousels since they know how to interact with them.

But a carousel is more about wandering

mmmh I like this slide, what's next ?

and not common navigation

I want to do that, where is this thing I want ?

That said, I would recommend to use carousel only when you do not care if the user is going to the end of the carousel or not. Effectiveness is going to depend much more on the quality of the content displayed than on the way to display it.

So remember to focus on what is really important : context and content.

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IT people are just like normal people. In fact they usually are normal people ;) You might further distinguish front-end developers, I'd expect them to click on much more things to figure out what makes them work well or not.

What happens when most people browse the internet is that they scan pages for interesting content, to answer a question that they have. Does this site sell shoes, where do I buy a ticket, can I call these people on the phone, etc. People have learned to ignore everything that looks like advertising, in part because even the things that aren't don't help answering their questions.

Nielsen mentions that his findings do not apply to search engine ads. This perhaps has to do with their design (hardly any images), but also because they actually help the user answering questions. Eg. if you're looking for a product, the ads might help you find an actual webshop amidst all the aggregators and "review" sites.

So it isn't so much a question of people not understanding what a carousel is or that they never click ads. There is nothing IT personnel know and others don't that would make them interact with carousels.

You should be careful in extending Nielsen's research findings outside the research questions that he's answering. He's found out that people do not read the content that's in a carousel and that people skip anything that looks like advertising. So a clear finding is that carousels should not be relied upon for content. However, you'll see that in his heat maps all images are skipped, even inline images in content. You could conclude that we should do without images completely. However, I think you will agree images (and advertising) still have a purpose.

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