The Usability Post
Thoughts on design and user experience by Dmitry Fadeyev

The Unstoppable Carousel

JavaScript carousels are a nice way to show off multiple products or highlights in the same area of the page. But there is one thing about the badly made ones that annoys me: they have no way to pause the thing. Here’s an example of a product carousel used on the Penguin website:

penguin carousel screenshot

Clicking on a section of the carousel will bring that section into focus, but the carousel is still in rotation mode so it will switch to the next one in seconds. This forces me to have to rush to read all of the text and look at the cover quickly – not a pleasant user experience. Apple gets it right though:

apple carousel screenshot

When you click on a little position control at the bottom, the carousel will switch to that location, and freeze there. This design assumes you’ve found something of interest and gives you all the time you want to check it out.

I think that’s a much better way to handle this. If the user wants to look at something, give them the time to do it. The controls to switch to the other items are still there, so they can, and will, use them whenever they want. Forcing a time constraint on the user is not the way to go.

“For even falsehood, uttered by the tongue of man, seemed like truth and light before this hopelessly-deaf and unresponsive silence.”

My new book: a translation of selected short stories by Leonid Andreyev, the father of Russian Expressionism from the Silver Age of Russian literature. A piercing, pitiless glance into the heart of the human condition.

☛ Read online

Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

Sign up to my email newsletter to receive regular recommendations of exceptional books on a wide range of topics including design, art, history and philosophy. A summary of my latest posts will also be included. Sign up below: