Here’s a beautiful little touch on the new 8 Faces site I’m a big fan of.

Instead of opting for a carousel or slideshow for the product photos on the homepage, they are using a draggable area to let you interact with the photos. On a touch device this is done with a swipe, but on a mouse or trackpad this turns into a pan control, much like you’ve seen on Google maps.

8faces-panner

Looking into it they appear to be using jQuery.kinetic to do this, a fairly well-maintained jQuery plugin that looks simple enough to use.

For me this works really well as it encourages the visitor to reach out and touch the photos, engaging with the product in a much more participatory way than a simple carousel would, and it favours touch devices without leaving mouse and trackpad users behind.