Are the cycling images and messages on your homepage a killer app? or killing your sales?
In this mornings 'Web Marketing Today', there is an interesting piece titled 'Are Distracting Cycling Images and Messages Hurting Profits?' Although there is no hard facts listed in the article, they did list some negative from their useability study:
1) Distraction: A large percentage of the people they tested found cycling images incredibly distracting.
2) Disappearing Message: Some sites cycle images a few times and then stop, and it's impossible for the visitor to go back to a previous image.
3) Ineffectiveness: Flash doesn't seem to increase the effectiveness of messaging, however these displays take upwards of 30% of the homepage real estate.
4) Transitoriness: In their tests, when images remained for 8-10 seconds before a transition, users rarely remembered the content from the previous image.
5) Trained Avoidance: In their testing, they found that flash is becoming like banner ads and people have trained themselves to ignore them.
Cycling images on the homepage are quite common on wine websites, and we have definately built our fair share of them. (We even have a component that makes it easy for people to change out photos, etc). In my opinion the right cycling image definitely increase the overall aesthetics of the site and homepage.
We look at messages like this one on this none wine website at Currency Marketing homepage for example and I find it very effective. (We programmed this site, but the design and content was done by Currency Marketing)
So maybe it's not a hard written rule, but definately something you should think about. Are the cycling images adding to your overall message? Are they conveying your message at all? Or are you using valuable space and it's just distracting visitors?