Parallax Design Trends
Remember those 2D effects used to create depth in the early video games? Where the background moved slower than the foreground so you had the illusion of depth and distance? Well a parallax web design does something very similar, except instead of being in a game, this effect is applied to a vertical scrolling website to give it a sense of interaction and movement. On websites, we use CSS to make different layers of the web page move at different rates, and this allows for a wide range of visual effects without the use of Flash.
With parallax, as visitors scroll up and down a page, they are visually stimulated and engaged. And a well-designed parallax design can completely captivate your audience, making them spend more time on your website.
The benefits of using a parallax design
- They are a highly creative and engaging way to display content.
- They bring in an element of fun or whimsy to your website.
- Parallax designs can be used to tell a visual or animated story to your audience.
- It is a visually engaging way to present your products.
- It encourages people to spend more time on your website and scroll down the entire page.
- Because parallax designs are at the leading edge of design and development, they enhance your credibility and professionalism.
Should you use a parallax design?
One good reason to use a parallax design is to create a more engaging interaction between your client and your brand. You create curiosity and delight in your client, which adds a richness to your brand that is difficult to achieve with more traditional websites. Parallax designs add depth and realism to your products and provide users with an innovative and interesting way to discover your brand.
Parallax designs may not be the best choice for large e-commerce sites or those that have high volume online sales. But for new brands or niche sites that provide one line of products or services, parallax scrolling can provide an innovative way to increase brand awareness. So if brand awareness and building an emotional connection with your audience is a priority for your brand, then the illustrative and impactful nature of a parallax design may be just what your business needs.
Another option may be to use a parallax design for a mini site that promotes a specific product from a larger parent site, or to run a single campaign. Many products can be lost amongst a much larger portfolio and a mini site based on a parallax design may well increase the awareness of that particular brand and conversions.
If your purpose it to educate and inform your audience, parallax designs can help to make those complex ideas or concepts easier to understand. Instead of being put off by a lot of dry text and long, boring facts – sometimes seen on more traditional websites – people become more engaged with your content because it is visually stimulating. And if you can turn your information into a story and create a relatable narrative or storyline, your viewer is then enveloped in a dynamic environment that engages them.
One thing to remember is that you do not want your design to detract from your products or services. Parallax designs done well, will enhance and delight your audience, but done badly can increase your bounce rate very quickly. So if you are considering using a parallax design make sure that it does not overshadow the message you are trying to convey, and the content of the website your visitor is looking for.
There are lots of examples of effective and interesting websites using parallax scrolling – here are seven of our favourites:
- Join a credit union
Meg is a Project Manager/Producer at Cornerstone with a special interest in conversion rate optimisation. She has a business analysis background and thinks the web would be a better place if everyone looked at their web statistics daily.