Carousels (or ‘content sliders’) are like men. They are not literally all bad — some are even helpful and considerate. But I don’t trust anyone unwilling to acknowledge a glaring pattern of awfulness. Also like men, I appreciate that many of you would rather just avoid dealing with carousels, but often don’t have the choice. Hence this article.
Carousels don’t have to be bad, but we have a culture of making them bad. It is usually the features of carousels, rather than the underlying concept that is at fault. As with many things inclusive, the right solution is often not what you do but what you don’t do in the composition of the component.
- Use list markup to group the slides together. Then screen reader users in ‘browse’ mode can use list navigation shortcuts to traverse them.
- Don’t preload content users are not likely to see. Defer until they perform an action to see it.
- Provide generous touch targets for touch users on mobile / small screens.
- If in doubt of a control’s (or widget’s) affordance, spell it out with instructions
- If you are a man and got past the first paragraph without being personally offended: Congratulations! You do not see men and women as competing teams.