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What's the appropriate behavior for a slider/slideshow on a page when it's not visible (e.g. user switched the tab or just scrolled down, so the slider is outside of visible part of the screen)?

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I thought of it recently. My point is to pause slideshow because of the reasons:

  • transition effects and picture changing are resource consuming operations. It's better to switch the resources to current operations than waste it to the slideshow, which is out of a user's focus
  • returning to slideshow which is displayed the old slide, which was displayed before slideshow leaving, supports user flow. So user is able to recall some information and continue to watch slideshow.

An issue with marketing sliders which impacts business is possible product loss. The reason is a user could keep in mind some product he has noticed on a slide. After he returns to the slider again to get more details, he sees other product, which is not only confusing to him, but also could lead to business losses.

So there could be some solutions:

  • auto-pausing when the slider is out of view and auto-resuming when it turns in view again
  • designing better slider, which is more informative and more interactive (i.e. user controlled) and rely on recognition over recall, compare two:
    enter image description here
| improve this answer | |
  • Stopping slideshow seem to be the best option. What do you think about marketing embedded sliders? – DeTeam Sep 17 '13 at 7:16
  • @DeTeam I've updated the answer, please, take a look. – Alexey Kolchenko Sep 17 '13 at 9:31
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Switch tab or scroll down are already different. But if you can remove "useless" treatments it should be good.

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  • The question is more about UX then browser's resources management.I know those actions are different (full or partial context switching) but what's the best option in that case from point of UX? – DeTeam Sep 17 '13 at 7:13
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    If your not talking about resources management, there should be few UX problem for something that is not visible. If you have 5 items rolling when off page, it is not very important as user can easily go back to interesting slide. if you have 100 pausing is certainly a better approach. – ColdCat Sep 17 '13 at 7:27
  • Make sense, thanks. So it's more about element semantic and interaction design (long-term or short-term interaction, complexity, etc). – DeTeam Sep 17 '13 at 7:39

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