How to Make Your Moving Websites Appealing and Accessible without Sliders
Sliders—sometimes called slideshows, carousels, or rotating banners—are collections of individual sections that contain images and/or text and switch automatically over time or through user interaction. Although sliders may seem engaging, we strongly discourage senior living marketing teams from using them.
Why are sliders used in web design?
Some digital designers incorporate these changing graphics to attract attention, save space, and help users control which content they see.
Why should we avoid sliders?
Your senior community’s website should of course be marketed toward seniors, an age group that experiences more motor or sensory impairments than the general population. Keep in mind any viewer requiring a screen reader is not always able to pause the audio of your slideshow or reference previous slides. If seeing the carousel on a screen, that person may need more time than provided to read a slide and have trouble quickly re-selecting it. Replacing sliders with static images and text can improve your site’s accessibility to seniors and other adults with disabilities.
Website users tend to dislike pages with many moving components that are out of their control or pressure them to buy; since sliders are commonly associated with advertisements, viewers often ignore them.
Sliders are not beneficial for search engine optimization, or SEO, which consists of the many methods you can use to help your website show up regularly in search results. This is because major search engines have decided to de-prioritize web pages containing the multiple prominent headings, outdated software, poor mobile usability, and slow loading times of most sliders.
What are the best alternatives to sliders in senior living marketing?
If you still want to intrigue your audience through movement built into your website’s design, consider adding slight but noticeable effects to your graphics and content.
Allowing portions of your design to simply fade upon loading is an excellent method to create much-needed interaction. By causing sections, images, or buttons to shrink, expand, or rise when viewers hover over them, you can remind potential customers that their input is recognized and valued.
We hope you can utilize what you have learned about sliders to create memorable experiences for your website’s viewers. To learn more about other web design best practices, be sure to read our recent blog post covering the ideal organization of homepage heroes and placement of videos. If you continually learn more about what will attract seniors to your website and carefully apply your knowledge, your community is more likely to grow and flourish.