If we talk about trends in web design, Parallax design is the latest buzz. This design technique has become increasingly popular lately, and of course, not without reason. The web users of today wants to get entertained and involved. And with parallax scrolling you can actually do a bunch of things to invite and engage your visitors with your site.
The origin of parallax web design
The parallax concept was originated from the graphical effect of two-dimensional side scrolling video games that used distinct background image movement speeds to build illusion of depth during the play. This concept was done by making the background of the game move slower than the foreground to make it seem further away. It is this same technique which is applied in parallax site design in which background of the website moves at a different speed than the rest of the page for an impressive visual effect that allow for countless creative applications. The varying speed movement is created through sensation of depth.
2014 and beyond, are the years of parallax design
Thanks to Apple for reviving this technology with the use of parallax effects in iOS 7. Since then, several designers followed the trend with parallax scrolling effects all over the web and in variety of apps. But why? Let’s find out the reasons behind…
Parallax design and creativity go hand-in hand. The level of creativity gained through this method adds greater user experience. With great user experience, the website traffic is bound to ascend. Not only this, the parallax web design enables the application of creative appliances in website, thereby boosting artistic creativity in the site. With each movement, something new unfolds for the users and help to make the effect more interactive with the website.
Great effect on single-page design
Parallax web design works in harmony with single page design. You can create several content for different screens that act and look almost like different pages but actually all on a single page. Some of the parallax scrolling effect can also make for distinctive viewing experience. You may often find color changing when you get to new content, or an image swapping occurs. For instance, many newspaper websites does a great job by using parallax to explain a story with text, video, motion and images.
This is the most important aspect of parallax effect to engage visitors. Users scroll and something happens, they scroll some more and something else happens. This continuous surprises is actually motivating and makes people willing, and eager to enter your site and listen what you have for them.
Setting for storytelling
Parallax scrolling provides the ideal setting to tell your story in an interactive and engaging manner. Allow them the freedom to take control and walk through your story. The distinct layers that respond differently to the scrolling behavior of the users create a sense of depth and allow for numerous story line.
Parallax design is perfect to vividly present your products. This new technological advancements allow you to let your visitors interact with your site and explore your product on their own initiative. The parallax web design helps in reflecting the product and brand’s exquisiteness. For instance, instead of static images, you get a 3D presentation of your products and control it by your own scrolling behavior.
In addition, you can also add some sphere to your product to drive attention to your products. You can use different models presenting your collection, with different elements flying around the models and highlighting certain sphere that comes with the clothes.
Guide visitors through Call-to-action
Parallax web design is excellent to guide your visitors to your site through storytelling, and towards your call-to-action. For instance, when the users scroll down the page, they can see different settings, different features, and benefits of the products and at the end of the page, the technique can also lead the visitors directly to the call to action of the page.
Also, the visitors can be guided towards the footer information. You may use animation to draw the visitor’s attention towards the footer section or else it becomes inconspicuous and minimalistic.
Parallax web design is SEO friendly
Although many consider that most of the parallax websites are not SEO-friendly, in today’s world, it is possible to merge parallax design with SEO using a few techniques. As you can get hit with duplicate content by positioning anchor links on the page, it is best to use parallax only on homepage or product feature page and then have subpages. This allow content on the homepage to direct users to other pages that have their own Meta information, and keyword. By using subpages, you can continue to attract a diversity of links and traffic to your website.
Another great alternative is to incorporate blog on the parallax site. Blogs have tremendous value when it comes to driving visitors to your website or highlight industry trust and knowledge.
As you see, using parallax scrolling effect is a subtle way to animate your background. You can make your site background fun and interesting and add life to the design.
Get parallax design in your website
Before you start creating parallax technique for your site, do not compromise on usability and performance. Be aware of weight on the site. With so many code and interesting things happening in the background, everything on this type of website design should be properly optimized. To ensure that your site loads faster, keep the code clean and scale the images properly.
Following are the basic components for creating parallax effect in your website
The methods used for scrolling includes…
Sprite enables combining several images and bitmaps into pseudo-layers to create a single image. A flat image can also appear to be 3D
Raster are lines of pixels within an image. They are composed in a top-to-bottom order with a gap between drawing one line and the next line
Layers help forming multiple background and foreground layers which can move in horizontal or vertical directions, and scroll at various speeds. Some of these layers are automatically controlled, while others are dependent on user interaction
Pattern manipulation allow multiple tiles and screens appear to float over repeated background.
Here a few important tips to smartly use parallax design in your site
Include historical timeline
Incorporating historical timeline tell site visitors about the history of the company. The visitors can scroll down the page to see the interesting journey of your company through its decade long history.
Emphasize on layering and depth
Make depth and layering the focal point of the parallax scrolling. The technique is all about playing around with depth for the much desired aesthetic effect.
A simple banner, button to basic text or graphics that prompt the visitors to click on it and proceed further the conversion funnel is one of the smartest way to drive visitors to your site.
Make use of responsive design
Design the mobile sites to properly display parallax-scrolling. Make utmost use of responsive web design and make your website friendly to different mobile devices. As we see, increasing number of people are using mobile devices, so it does not make any sense to solely design websites for desktop.
Take a look at some of the best parallax scrolling websites.
Parallax web design techniques are something we are going to see and continue using it more as the year progresses. As a designer, you’ll definitely enjoy this new trend and make website designing all the more interesting.