The parallax effect has been around for years in classic video games, but it became a trend in the web design world relatively recently. This cool effect is now commonly seen as part of the scrolling feature of a web page. It uses multiple backgrounds which seem to move at different speeds to create a sensation of depth (creating a faux-3D effect) and an interesting browsing experience.
The term “parallax” first came from the visual effect of 2D side scrolling videogames that used different background image movement speeds to create the illusion of depth during gameplay. This was generally done by making the background of the game move slower than the foreground in order to make it seem further away. This same concept applies to parallax site design in which the background of the website moves at a different speed as the rest of the page for an impressive visual effect that allows for countless creative applications for online storytelling.
Parallax design gives websites a great opportunity to:
- Wow viewers with page depth and animation
- Take a story-telling approach to guide visitors through the site
- Make page visits last longer by encouraging visitors to scroll through the entire page
- Provoke curiosity
- Direct visitors to calls to action
- Reenforce website credibility with innovative interactive viewing
Parallax website layouts take advantage of dynamic animations to move between content panels. These designs often scroll in a vertical or horizontal pattern while animating page elements along the way. Parallax interfaces will catch your visitor’s attention quickly because they stand out dramatically in comparison to a “typical” website design.
The vast assortment of techniques for scrolling and content animation prove how distinct these websites can look. Parallax layouts often work best for a product or company which needs to appear more flashy without too much extra information. But even smaller projects or personal portfolios can work great with parallax effects when implemented properly.
You can see the difference between Parallax website and Non Parallax website below:
Non Parallax Websites:
A few more things to keep in mind when you’re designing a parallax website are:
- Don’t overdo it to make your site too complicated
- Use it to tell a visual story
- Make it fun and engaging with depth using layering
- Emphasize calls to action when directing the visitor through the site
- Account for older browsers and mobile browsing