Are there any studies or published de-facto standards on how fast the slides of a carousel should change on the homepage of a website?

Here are some examples of sites that incorporate carousels at varying speeds:


@Denis is quite correct. The only thing I'd add is that a simple way to see what speed you should rotate is to read all the content on each panel out loud (because this forces you not to go too fast), and time how long that takes. Add a little time, and set that as your speed. EDIT @Rob suggests in the comments below that you take 2.5 times the "read-aloud" time, based on guidelines from TV/movie credits and the like.

I find it very irritating when I'm half way through reading something and it flips. And I'm not an especially slow reader! But I do sometimes get distracted looking at something else for a second or two. If in doubt, slow it down.

You can always add an explicit control to move on if needs be.

All that said, @msanford's comment is a very apt one. I'm far from convinced that carousels are an effective way to present information.

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    That is an excellent suggestion; read the slide out aloud, and allow for some buffer to time to perhaps soak in the image too. We have explicit controls in place; I feel that is a UX necessity for the user to have control over the content they see. For now we have to work within our clients constraints, until we can do some A:B testing and give them some hard data about what is more effective. Thanks for great suggestion, we will apply that :) – Andrew Odri Oct 24 '12 at 17:32
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    I have a background in film and TV. The time for credits, captions, and anything that needs to be read on the screen was 2 1/2 times what it took to read it out loud, iirc. – Rob Nov 3 '12 at 11:40
  • Thanks Rob, that's really useful, I'll edit the answer to include that. – Peter Bagnall Nov 3 '12 at 11:44

Honestly it varies depending on how much information you have to display. Oracle's carousel displays a lot of it so ~12 seconds works for them. Hopefully that gives you an idea.

  • Anytime, hopefully you were able to solve this ? – denisinla Oct 28 '12 at 12:24

I'd also think long and hard about whether a carousel is the right option for what you're trying to do.

It's one of those patterns that seems to crop up a lot these days. I've yet to see them work as expected in any usability test I've done. The vast majority of users will a) not see anything past the first entry, and b) find the motion annoyingly distracting when they're trying to read stuff elsewhere on the page.

The "real" right option might be an infinite pause, or multiple pages, or a long copy page, or killing content, or something else...

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    I know exactly what you are trying to say; but as always we have to work within our client's constraints for now. For now we have to make the most of a potentially bad situation, but we will try to get some A:B testing going as soon as the client is comfortable :) Thanks for the suggestions! – Andrew Odri Oct 24 '12 at 17:27

7-8 seconds is OK if there's not much text. Faster is more distracting. As long as there is enough time for the visitor to see one image change so they know it's not a static banner

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    Where do you get these figures from? Just personal experience or is it from an article / study somewhere? – JonW Jun 19 '13 at 12:17

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