Auto-rotating content usability?

12 Jun 2007 - 12:30pm
7 years ago
1 reply
772 reads
Beth Herbert
2007

(Apologies for the cross-post)

Does anyone have research about the usability of content areas that
auto-rotate?

E.g.,
The far-left module under the sport-by-sport navigation on
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/
The main photo/story module on http://www.msn.com/

And does anyone know of examples of this concept applied not to
frequently updated content but rather to static messaging and links?

Our goal is to drive traffic to key marketing pages, and the theory
behind this approach is that it will 1) be attention grabbing and 2)
allow us to present a little more information for each item than we
would if we had to show them all at the same time.

Beth Herbert
Senior Information Architect
WeightWatchers.com
bherbert at weightwatchers.com <mailto:bosnato at weightwatchers.com>

Comments

12 Jun 2007 - 3:03pm
White, Jeff
2007

I don't have any research, but I do know of an example of this type
of treatment being applied to messaging content that is not updated
very often. www.premierinc.com - see the main advertising banner. It
automatically rotates to something new about every 4-6 seconds. I
haven't been with this company for about 4 months now, but I did
play a big role in the design your looking at. I hope this example is
along the lines of what you're looking for.

To chime in, IMO it's not the usability of the rotating content
itself that's really important, but the usability of the page as a
whole. If you find yourself out of real estate and marketing
stakeholders are saying "we need to fit more on the page!!!!", then
you've got bigger issues on your hand. A page should have focus, and
no matter what marketing or the executives say - there is 1
program/product, etc that is the most important thing to the business
at a point in time. The more you add to a page, the less focus it has.
Obviously, my team lost that battle and we ended up with a rotating
banner that randomly toggled between 2-4 different ads at a time. But
that alone in itself was a victory - they started off wanting to
divide that area into quadrants, all of which would rotate randomly
at the same time. :-)

If this is the type of challenge you're facing, good luck!

Jeff

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