Welcome to the next big thing in web design: parallax scrolling. With multiple backgrounds moving at different speeds, the visually engaging medium creates an interactive and attention-grabbing 3D effect, powerfully surpassing point and click.
For the right brand or project, parallax can be what opens the door to your audience’s imagination and helps you weave a thoroughly immersive story. If your content calls for high-sensory stimulation and enriched visuals, maybe it’s time to see what parallax could do for you.
Remember, content comes first so don’t jump on a trend just because it looks cool. Embrace it when it’s right for your brand. Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide:
One element that works wonders to engage users is the potential for animation in Parallax. Whether its one part or one of many, moving images coming apart or together can work beautifully in explaining an idea or showing how a product works.
Oakley has done a beautiful job with their Airbrake MX Goggle, which is highlighted in a parallax website of its own. Users get a 360-degree view of the goggle, with animations detailing its construction and capabilities as well as a video that provides further engagement.
Note that in an attempt to index the content and heighten search engine results, internal links have been assigned to different sections of the site. Given the single-page nature of parallax scrolling, SEO tends to suffer. This practice, as well as something like frequently updated editorial content that links to and is integrated with your parallax page, allow for more entry points to the site, helping boost traffic.
When it comes to telling a story, the possibilities really do seem limitless with parallax. And when the story is well told, exciting, and breathtakingly beautiful, a user can feel compelled to keep scrolling for longer than you might think.
Sony’s website relaunch, for example, uses parallax scrolling to innovatively illustrate its company history and vision while showcasing its various products. Instead of searching for something specific, users follow a narrative that engages them emotionally.
Remember, the content you show is as important as when you show it. Be sure to create flow coupled with surprise to ensure constant scrolling. Know what story you’re trying to tell and focus on key elements to clearly get your message understood.
Bounce Rate Reduction
Amazing websites like Sony’s almost guarantee a reduced bounce rate – who can click away from something so visually stimulating? This is another way parallax works to counter its suffering SEO, not to mention with the increased likelihood of sharing something that looks awesome and unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Another good example is Nintendo’s Australian page for Mario Kart on Wii. Some critics would say that there’s way too much going on here, but they’re definitely onto something. It’s a bit loud, for sure, but it’s on the same wavelength as its fans and gamers. The parallax design takes the audience on a fun journey through the game’s history, which feels like going through the game itself.
It also plays on our nostalgia by possibly referencing a similar effect from Nintendo’s glory days:
Parallax is really all about putting your product front and center, whether you adorn it with all kinds of bells and whistles or leave it clean and sparse. When in doubt, less is more – an ideal that’s beautifully illustrated by Black Pearl Farms.
By honing in on a few high-sensory elements – lush blueberries, freshly cut wood – the brand is able to accentuate nature’s beautiful simplicity, as well as its product’s deliciousness. When your product is simple, sometimes all you need are one or two powerful images.
Like anything, parallax does come with a few negative effects – slow loading times, issues with browser compatibility and mobile – but they all depend on your brand and product. Keep in mind that the strain on SEO could mean harder times for small businesses and startups, along with companies that rely on geo-targeted search results.
For certain product-focused or more established brands, however, parallax creates an unparalleled experience that’s engaging, inspiring, and share-inducing. Are you willing to take the chance? Check out how your product looks and feels on parallax by starting with simple. Minimal content, rich visuals, and clear navigation should get you moving in the right direction – share your site and other favorites below!
By Anastasia Dyakovskaya, NewsCred Contributor