As a developer I'm involved on a discussion about Carousels. We have a CMS backoffice where the user can activate a carousel for his/her site. The main point is wether or not is needed to make optional the image for each slide. The main idea is not to make required any of the three main elements (Image, text, and CTA).

It doesn´t make sense for me not to have images on the carousel slides, because the image depict the main idea of the slide, the text gives a brief intro, and hopefully says "hi, there is more content to read", and the CTA gives a clear sense that it´s clickable (Even when the main slide can be a link). Even more if you´re selling something, the image is the MAIN point of interest.

I´ve read that carousels are not effective, that if you can a static hero image will be better, I've also read the main guidelines for designing effective carousels, but I couldn´t find anything related to don´t have images on slides.

Does it make sense to have carousel slides with no images? There is some guideline for it?

  • 5
    It doesn't really matter what you put in it. Users won't interact with it anyway.
    – JonW
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 12:51
  • I thoroughly agree that carousels should never be used without purpose. No one is going to sit on a site waiting for, or clicking through, a list of images or text, especially without knowing where the end is.
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:17
  • 1
    Everyone, thanks a lot for your answers. The fact is as a developer, I'm not involved in the decision, and I also agree with you regarding carousels, but what I need to know is if it makes sens to have carousel slides with no images. Thanks so much!
    – Guillermo
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


In the ideal world, all of your carousel slides would have high-quality, contextually relevant images to go with their textual descriptions and calls-to-action. In reality, most organizations cannot afford to produce such high-quality assets for all of their features and resort either to stock images, downloading images from Google images, or sub-par quality images, all of which detract from the overall intended experience.

I recommend allowing content creators to add slides to the carousel that don't require an image, but to ease design and development issues produce one or a small set of default fallback slides that can be used in the absence of a proper image. Possible solutions are:

  1. using a simple, perhaps textured slide with organizational branding or other relevant messaging on it; or
  2. if the "type" of content that's being linked to is structured well enough, let authors select the type of content the slide links to, which then renders a type-specific fallback (i.e. a default slide image for reviews, a slide for press releases, etc.)

If the carousel is intended to showcase products, a user will need to use images, but to show, for example: customer reviews or services, an image may not be required to supplement the text.

  • 1
    Why do you say that?
    – JonW
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:38
  • If I'm understanding the question correctly: should no images be allowed in a carousel? I think that the short answer is: yes. Reviews and services were a couple of examples of carousel content that may not require an image.
    – Suki
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:41
  • I mean why do you say that text alone may convey they message more clearly? I'm just asking you to provide a bit more detail and reasoning. It's OK to have an opinion when answering questions, but really your opinion should be supported with the reasoning. "I think that X is the best option because..."
    – JonW
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:43
  • Thanks @JonW , does my edit make more sense?
    – Suki
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:54

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