To display groups of photos, use a non-automated photo gallery

I love it when there is some empirical evidence to support my own assumptions.

For quite a while, I’ve maintained that if your goal with a group of photos is to have people view the photos primarily for the content of the photos themselves, the best way to do that is in a photo gallery where the user drives.

I’ve said before that SoundSlides can be mighty boring. And by that, I mean the SoundSlides that are nothing but a bunch of pictures thrown up with some music.

If you have a real story to tell, and all the proper media to do it, SoundSlides can be a great tool for getting the job done.

But when you want people to look at pictures and get something out of the photography, a non-automated photo gallery works best.

Now there’s an eyetrack study that supports that position. Of the 34 participants, 71 percent preferred to drive themselves rather than set the slide show on auto play (only 6 percent choose that option).

In terms of practical advice, this observation of navigational methods use makes clear that if you can only have one navigation method – the “next” method, moving linearly through the set of slides is the one to use. It was the primary choice of the majority of the participants and resulted in viewing the most slides.

However, if amount of time spent with the story package is your primary goal, people who clicked from slide to slide using the “arrow” spent almost a minute longer than the “next” users.

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