What Should You Know About Parallax Scrolling


Let’s be honest with us: between clients and designers there will be always communication problems. At the first sight it may be annoying, but in fact it’s totally normal. Each trade has its specific vocabulary and it’s impossible for someone to know everything. i.e., I am very impressed by medics that tell tons of unknown words to inform that someone has fever. The design world encounters the same situation – the only solution is to patiently treat each communication crisis.

I guess that there is no designer not to face at least a client that asks simply- “I want a very original website, I want to stay apart!!!”. Yeah, for clients it’s extremely easy to say that, but how could it be realised in practice? These requirements shouldn’t depress a designer, it’s a normal situation and it’s way better to search for solutions instead of being sad.

SEE ALSO: What Should You Know About Flat Design

A relatively recent solution to create a stunning website is the parallax scrolling. A parallax scrolling website is based on moving backgrounds (usually, with various speeds) to create the illusion of 3D depth. I am almost certain that this definition won’t satisfy you, but the next examples will better reveal what parallax scrolling means:

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

Parallax Websites

No doubt, it’s very attractive and it’s fully proved by the huge number of websites recently launched. Until few years ago, scrolling was avoided by designers, but right now the users seem to be more disposed to make efforts and scroll. Parallax scrolling websites weren’t something that appeared randomly, it has at its roots the efforts of the designers to create better websites adapted for the new context. The new handheld devices that seem to stimulate the scrolling, the stronger interaction website-users and the lack of “chrome” to highlight the content are the reasons why parallax scrolling is considered a working solution.

No doubt, parallax scrolling will be here for many years and it’s highly recommended for any designer to pay closer attention to it. There are some features of it that can’t be neglected and we highlighted here some of the most important ones.

#1. Allow a high degree of originality

It was before mentioned the situation when the clients require a standing apart website; well, a parallax website is way more original than the “classic” one. Much more, a parallax website is modern and it’s an important advantage into the final equation of the originality. The jQuery sliding effects may bring their contribution for staying apart, therefore there are enough “ingredients” to make a very original website.

#2. Create a story

The moving backgrounds are making the perfect context to create appealing animations. The parallax scrolling websites are very dynamic and in this way the designer may create a real story. Well, it may not be too interesting, but a smart web designer should know how to profit from. The huge majority of apps presenting websites are parallax based, quite probable because it is simpler to create a story and fascinate the people. Also, the content of a website may be presented as a story into such a website and sometimes it may work as a magnet for some users.

#3. A cool user experience

An original website that creates a high level of interaction with the users is the perfect source of a cool user experience. The parallax effect is the perfect solution for both originality and high interaction, therefore the user may be much more than satisfied with such a website.

Many big brands use the parallax effect on their official websites because it allows a better user experience; I think that this situation is enough to convince you that parallax scrolling must be taken into account when it’s needed to create a website for a very demanding public target.

#4. It’s a good format for mobile browsing

The number of people owning a smartphone is still in a tremendous growing rhythm and definitely, neglecting the mobile visitors is the equivalent of an online suicide. The parallax scrolling is a very good format for mobile browsing and it was another huge advantage that determined the designers to pay closer attention to it. The idea is simple: people will want to visit the various webpages of a website and each one needs a specific time to load while a parallax based website loads a single page that should be scrolled.

Altogether, parallax scrolling has its major downsides and it wouldn’t have been fair not to present these aspects.

#5. Parallax scrolling and SEO aren’t “good friends”

Parallax based websites are heavily relaying on the visual power of the images which is Ok from the design perspective, but from SEO perspective the things are different. The images have a considerable file size that negatively influence over the loading time. People, but recently even the search engines, especially Google, don’t have patience and they don’t wait too much for a website to load. Consequently, the website won’t appear on favourable positions in the searches of the users. No traffic means no profit and it means game over!

#6. Content…where is the content?

We many times expressed that any extremist idea isn’t a viable solution. Everywhere and everytime! No doubt! The humanity suffered a lot because of the extremist mentalities and of course, the designers should follow the in between solution. Parallax scrolling is dependent on images and there is a high risk of putting the content into the shadow. The users may be too fascinated by the images or by the nice jQuery transitional effects and they lose what is more important, the content! Definitely, going too extreme and having a “very visual” website isn’t a good solution!

In the end, I hope that after reading this post, anyone will have a clearer opinion about the parallax scrolling, its advantages and disadvantages and which type of projects are suitable for this approach. Personally, I don’t think that parallax scrolling is good or bad for web design…what really matter is that it exists! The discussion should be about how the designers benefit from it…some may create amazing websites while others simply may ruin ones. What do you think about parallax scrolling? It will be great to know your opinion about, so keep in touch with us and use the comment form to share with us your interesting thoughts!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Let us know what you think.