You bring up a Web site in your browser, hoping to savor the delectable nuggets of entertainment and information to be found there. The first thing you see is a picture—let us say a picture of an okapi—with two or three paragraphs of information beside it. Your interest is piqued. You have always admired okapis from afar, and have been waiting for an opportunity to be better informed on the subject of okapis. You feel as though a long-vacant space in your mind is filling up, and your deepest longing is about to be satisfied: at last, you will soon be up to date on okapi-related matters—
And then suddenly the picture and text make a mad dash for the left edge of your screen. Before you can catch them, they are gone, and you had not even finished the first paragraph. In their place appears something else—something about new fashions in organic fertilizer or six International Style gas stations to see before you die. What happened to the okapi?
You have encountered that pampered darling of Web designers, the slider. Web designers are in love with the slider. They salivate over sliders the way chocolate addicts salivate over triple chocolate mousse cake. “There is literally no better way to make your website look totally stunning,” says the Web site of a company that sells a slider plugin for WordPress.
But does anyone who is not a Web designer like sliders? Anyone at all? Are there any readers who, coming upon a Web site with a slider on the front page, shout, “Hallelujah! At last, here is information presented in the exact form in which I was hoping to find it!”?
Dr. Boli believes that no one likes sliders as a consumer of information; that they are adored only by what one might call the pushers of information: people and organizations that want to put information out there, without actually thinking through the question of whether it is information anybody wants to pick up once it has been put out there.
But Dr. Boli could be wrong. He has been wrong in the past. He was, for example, wrong about ebooks once; and before that, he recalls having been wrong about something to do with Franklin Pierce, though he cannot recall what it was at the moment.
So he puts this question to the Internet at large. Do any of you reading this right now actually like sliders? Vote by commenting below. Web designers may comment, but they must in fairness identify themselves. This survey will produce data exactly as scientific as those produced by other Internet surveys and quoted by respectable journalists as definitive, so vote as often as you like.
One interesting datum Dr. Boli will mention: the Web site he mentioned earlier, the one hawking a slider plugin for WordPress with the claim that “There is literally no better way to make your website look totally stunning.” does not use sliders.