I have a few 500px by 400px .gif files that contain slideshow-like animations to describe how my website works. I set the frames to change between the rate of 500ms and 1000ms. I am wondering what is a comfortable speed for users without causing giddiness from staring at the screen for too long.

  • This is entirely dependent on the content of the gifs. One line of text? An image? Three sentences and an infographic?
    – Lukzen
    Mar 11, 2014 at 13:23
  • One image shows a map and addition of a few icons. Another shows a profile, then adding captions to it. I take it that the timing depends entirely on the content then. Mar 12, 2014 at 4:05
  • Definitely. A general rule of thumb for me is, if you think it's slow enough, slow it by another 20%. It's so easy to overestimate the speed people understand your content. Ideally you show those gifs to friends or relatives and test them out.
    – Lukzen
    Mar 12, 2014 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


Being text, be sure that you provide enough time to read it. If there are images, consider one or two seconds to look at them.

For deciding how much time is needed, you have to do some tests, get some people to read each image aloud, measure the time it takes to them to get it done and use that time. Reading aloud is slower than reading in silence, thatś why the time that it takes for reading aloud is a good measure.

If after that you feel is too fast, add one more second, a bit more if there is too much text on each image.

If the images are complex, then consider asking the people to read and observe the images in detail and tell you when they feel that they have finished. After they have read all the images, ask what each one is about, if they got the meaning right, use their time for averaging, if they got it wrong, add one or two seconds to their time.


From user point of view, the timing should be well enough to describe and send your message to end user. Minimum 2-3 sec is good for viewing a slideshow.

  • To support the point about changing the images as needed opposed to changing based on authors setting, here is an xkcd cartoon on a similar subject, slideshows: xkcd.com/1264 Mar 11, 2014 at 13:41
  • Although there may be advantages on using JS, that is not an answer to the OP's question. If you can rewrite this answer to answer the question, it would be much better.
    – PatomaS
    Mar 11, 2014 at 13:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.