Data point for banners/carousels: numbers vs. text for navigating among banners

On April 23, we launched our new home page design ( Among other changes, we reworked our banners at the top. It used to look like this screen shot:

To change banners, you clicked the numbers. Heat maps showed that people did use the numbers to move among the banners, and other analytics confirmed people were using the links within the banners.

Nevertheless, multiple other references suggested it was more usable to provide text hints as to what was on each banner, so we changed the design to do that. Here’s that screen shot:

Comparing the three weeks since we launched to the three weeks before that, here are the results:

  • Total home page views: down by 5% (that’s just normal variation, nothing significant)
  • Clicks on links within the banners: roughly tripled (whoah!)

There are other design changes on the page, and changes in what’s in the banners, so I wouldn’t claim the entire increase is from providing text hints to banner content. Even so, I think that a major chunk of the increase is from that change. That is, I think people are now much more likely to check out the banners, discover info that’s useful to them, and then click on the links.

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