Autoplay is when you make your slider switch your slides automatically. This is a great way to suggest more contents to users. If you use the same slider on all your pages, and the user doesn’t decide to interact with them, he will only see the first slide, which isn’t really good, and this is where the autoplay option can help. This doesn’t only solve this problem, but studies made by scientists, like Stanford University neuroscience researchers and people at the Association for Psychological Science, that motion attracts the eye, so your slides won’t just appear, but they will be surely noticed. Also this tool is great to make an automatic image viewer, like the one you can find in many image viewer programs, for example in Windows Photo Viewer, just to make the whole thing fullscreen, and let the images automatically change.
Always give control
There are many different ways of using the autoplay feature, and there is one thing I would suggest, and that is to always allow your WordPress or Joomla users to be able to stop and resume the rotation. If a person sees something interesting, and would want to take his time to check out your slide, he should be able to do so with at least a mouseenter/mouseleave, or you could make a more obvious option, put a pause/play button into your slider with the autoplay control. The autoplay can also be paused by videos, and the lightboxes, as you wouldn’t want your slide to go away, while you are watching something.
If you don’t give control to your user, it can cause that he chooses not to wait for another round, so this can be a deal breaker for example to buy a product or not. You should also try to avoid confusion of what’s happening, like if someone is hovering over your slider, or you set up your slider to only go around once, he will be just waiting for the next slide to come, which will never happen, and that can be frustrating. To solve this, I would suggest to use the autoplay indicator, which shows you the past and remaining time of the automatic sliding, and this will make it obvious that the next slide won’t come for some reasons, and the user will move his mouse. There is always a minimal learning curve, so be a good teacher.
Timing is the key
It takes time to read, or just to check out some images, and you should make sure that your users always have enough time to do it, what you can set up either globally, meaning that all of your slides would have the same interval, or give different duration to them locally, in case you have different amount of information on them. Also avoid going from one extreme to the other, if the sliding takes too long, some people won’t wait for the next slides.
- Choose where to continue the autoplay and when to finish it
- Indicator control