Market research have shown that 95% of users assess the value of your website based on it’s visual appearance. Websites have to be creative and innovative enough to keep users attracted to your website. When someone visits your website, their first question would be “Why must I access this site when I have other real worth websites? What is so different about this site?” and that’s where your website has to stand out from the crowd dominantly, clearly and convincingly answering user’s queries and making them stay back on your website.

Parallax Scrolling is one such hot design technique used in most of today’s websites providing its users close interaction with the site and making browsing more interesting. Parallax effect was more popular in 2D video games in earlier days, but with advancement in JavaScript, one can successfully use effects of Parallax in their website to give completely unique experience.

How Parallax works:

Parallax scrolling is achieved by having the background image (or elements) move slower than the foreground image giving impression of 3D depth. Different elements move at different speed, creating a sense of animation and enhanced interactive user experience. Content is marked up using HTML tags, while jQuery checks how far the user has scrolled and move different elements at different speed.

The Parallax movement started in web using two simple layers. Thanks to advancement in Javascript, HTML5 and CSS3, now foreground and background elements can be grouped into different layers and speed of these elements can be controlled based on their layers.

Parallax Scrolling

Pros of Parallax Scrolling:

1) Holding visitor interest: As user scrolls down the page, he is taken to next level of information without having user to click anywhere to see information. This feature keeps user attracted to your website, stirring their interest and wanting them to view more of the information.

2) Better product display- Instead of just displaying your product as static image, Parallax scrolling can help user explore your product in a totally new and different way. It gives 3D view presentation controlled by their own scrolling behavior.

Bagigia is a classic website where user get totally different experience of viewing products. 3D presentation of product is shown with user controlling the scrolling behavior.

3) Visual narration(Storytelling) made more efficient– Storytelling is the best way to communicate message to a human mind. Well designed one page website can prove powerful storytelling equipment because scrolling through it will be like reading an interesting book that you cannot put down unless complete. With the right amount of animation and scrolling, Parallax scrolling can effectively communicate your message about your product, their effects and the audience. Parallax provides a nice overview of your website by letting user visualize the website through scrolling efforts.

4) Unique Design: Using parallax effect, you can design a website that is visually appealing and user friendly and make your website more fun place and interactive thus, making it stand out from the crowd.

Cons of Parallax Scrolling:

  1. Parallax site takes longer to load – JavaScript/JQuery is used to calculate position of every element in the page and every time there is a scroll, position of all elements need to be re-calculated  that could slow down page load.
  2. Parallax effect does not always work well with mobile technology. You might need to make sure you have a separate mobile optimized version of your website if your parallax scrolling website does not play well on mobile devices.
  3. Too much scrolling may irritate the user that would tempt them leave the site before actually viewing the main contents of your website.

Parallax scrolling is just sweeping the entire web community and is expanding across web. Parallax scrolling websites are future of tomorrow’s website design. It has become the biggest trend in design world today and when done right and with right amount of Parallax scrolling, it can no doubt, put your website ahead of the curve providing that extra edge over your competition.

-  Susan B John