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We run digital magazine websites. We use a carousel to feature content. Since we are interested in the user clicking through to view the content, and not converting them to anything (these are inhouse or association magazines, so no outside subscribers). Is this still a problem? Does the end user not see the carousel, or only sees the first image?

  • @Benny That proposed duplicate asks specifically about conversion on e-commerce sites. This one is about other type of sites and different engagement metrics. It does not appear to be a duplicate. – Graham Herrli Jan 29 '14 at 23:24
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    In my view, the other question covers all cases, including yours. Can't think of anyone jumping in saying "but in non-ecommerce carousels are effective". It's like banner blindness - matters little on which type of site it is. – Izhaki Jan 30 '14 at 0:02
  • @3nafish I have to agree with Izhaki here. UX doesn't change between scope. From a users perspective a carousel on an Intranet is no different than a carousel on a shopping site. – Benny Skogberg Jan 30 '14 at 4:12
  • @Izhaki, I agree that the ineffectiveness of carousels is likely to be independent of site type, but just because this question is likely to receive similar answers doesn't mean it's a duplicate question. – Graham Herrli Jan 30 '14 at 4:19
  • @BennySkogberg, A shopping site and an intranet have different target users and different contexts, so there could conceivably be some difference in the way people act. The key difference in this question is the way that "effectiveness" is operationalized. The OP is asking about click-throughs (presumably as a metric of engagement) while the other question was concerned with conversions (presumably as a metric of monetization). – Graham Herrli Jan 30 '14 at 4:23
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Have the options to flick through the carousel but not auto slide - maybe the most important click through or link to content on the first slide and let the user perform the click through's if they want to.

We have a similar scenario with our corporate site, we aren't selling anything per se, but want to improve the landing page aesthetically.

Good piece on this from NN group: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/auto-forwarding/

Cheers,

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According to research done by NN Group, and as per answers in similar existing questions , generally carousels are implemented in a manner that is not very user friendly. The problem with carousels (whether auto-scrolling or not) is that it's very easy for content to be missed by the user.

One of the few appropriate uses for carousels are when you are displaying multiple units of content that all belong to the same category, or in scenarios where missing a carousel item does not hamper the main message of the page. An example of this is when Apple shows off some sample apps in a carousel on their iPad page. The message is that the iPad has access to apps, and if you browse through the items in the carousel, you will see more of those sample apps. This implementation is usable because even if you miss the secondary carousel items (additional sample apps), you still understand the main message which is that the iPad has access to apps.

In contrast, if you're showcasing content on a homepage, putting the top three stories in a carousel is a bad idea because it's very easy for users to miss them. Why run the risk of having users miss out on them? For content sites, it's preferable to have correctly written headlines and thumbnails that are easy to scan at a glance.

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