The Web is flooded with millions of websites featuring outstanding designs, including minimal, textured, illustrated, nature-inspired, boldly colored, and more. But how to develop a resource that would catch the eye of your audience at first glance, drive high conversion rates and effortlessly promote your company? Once you decide to get your business online think about a technique that would present content in an interactive manner and engage more visitors on your website. This is when parallax scrolling effect would come in handy. The technique has been in the mainstream over the last couple of years and what we may say without any doubt is that parallax scrolling websites can hardly leave anyone indifferent.

Related Content: 50 Parallax Scrolling Examples

What is Parallax Web Design

21st century websites are not as boring and plain as they used to be. Applying parallax scrolling technique to your resource you will no doubt make it more interactive and add a sense of depth; it will let your creativity flow and develop a product that would reveal your designer’s skills the best way.
Initially, parallax scrolling was widely used in animation and video gaming for stimulating motion with background images that are moving slower than the foreground ones. Using this technique in web design is a relatively new integration, though it’s gaining popularity at a fast pace. The main idea of parallax scrolling is having different elements scroll through different site lines. As a rule, web designers are using this technique to add some visual intrigue, draw attention, and arose a desire to scroll down and discover more. In addition, applying parallax scrolling technique to your site has a number of other benefits like:

  • Parallax sites are more attention-grabbing than regular resources.
  • It brings rich animation and interactive viewing to your site.
  • People are encouraged to scroll through the entire story and thus stay on your site for longer.
  • It provokes curiosity and leads users to call to action.

Like anything else in the world, alongside with significant benefits parallax scrolling has some drawbacks as well. Most of these downsides are caused by the structure of parallax scrolling websites. Since the majority of them have a single long page, this doesn’t benefit your site’s SEO ranking and page load speed. Other drawbacks include:

  • Most parallax scrolling websites are not mobile-friendly.
  • These are not SEO-friendly as well. Parallax sites have one page only, which means that instead of targeting keywords and meta tags on different individual pages (like on regular websites), you’ll have to rely on one set for the entire resource.

Related Content: 30 Parallax Web Templates

Parallax Scrolling Design Methods

As we’ve already mentioned above, parallax scrolling was first applied to 8 bit video games back in 1940s. It mainly used the multi-plane camera technique applied to cell animation. Speaking about the modern parallax scrolling design, web designers make use of the 4 methods used in 8 and 16 bit consoles, i.e. Layered, Sprite, Repeating Pattern, and Raster Methods.

  • Layered Method. This is a basic parallax scrolling method where background layers move slower than the foreground ones. Depending on the way you want a story to be told, you can customize background layers to be scrolled both vertically and horizontally, which leads to a simulation of multiple cameras.
  • Sprite Method. You may also develop pseudo-layers of sprites, i.e. controllable moving objects that may be displayed on top or back of the layers.
  • Repeating Pattern Method (also known as animation method) features scrolling displays that float over a repeating background layer.
  • In the Raster Method the lines of the pixel are composed and refreshed from the top to the bottom of the screen. This helps in creating the effect of illusion.

These are the four basic techniques that have been used in parallax scrolling since the 1940s. Though some of them may look a bit outdated, they are still widely used by the modern developers. Applying parallax scrolling technique to your web project will not only create a 3D effect but also present your product in a more interactive manner. Let’s have a look at some of the most outstanding parallax website examples and check out the effect they have on the audience.

Related Content: 10 jQuery Parallax Plugins

De Vriend uses parallax scrolling technique to let you watch an eBook trailer as you scroll down the page. The dark background of the site lets users concentrate on the story itself and enjoy outstanding audio and video effects.

De Vriend

Saucony presents footwear in a 3D format, revealing the way each model is being crafted and which materials it’s made of through scrolling. Users can take control of the story and drive it the way they wish. In such a way, you may learn about the product in a more interactive way.

Saucony's Parallax Web Design

To show off the launch of the game on Wii, Mario Kart developers have opted for parallax scrolling to tell the story from its launch till the present day. The style of the site resembles the game itself, being built as a road of characters from the title.

Mario Kart Parallax Website uses parallax scrolling technique to tell the story of Britain’s National Health Service through years. As you scroll through the site, you follow a medical assistant pushing a trolley in the corridor as pop-up balloons convey data about the biggest compensation payouts of each year starting from 2004.

Health Service Payouts

New York design agency Madwell uses parallax scrolling to present their portfolio in a more interactive manner and engage you in the story development.

Madwell creative parallax design

To Sum It All up

Parallax scrolling is no doubt one of the most effective techniques for promoting your online business. Every section of such sites draws users’ attention, creates a sense of intrigue, and makes people scroll down to discover more. In addition, such sites look more appealing than common resources, treating their visitors with absolutely unique look and feel. Though these are not SEO-friendly and don’t run on the handheld devices the way you wish, people won’t resist temptation to see the story till the end once they reach such a resource. Wanna learn more about Parallax Scrolling? Click Here for more!

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