Parallax scrolling has become one of the most popular web design tools in the world recently. It’s also a term that those new to website design may not know, even though they’ve likely seen the technique employed on other sites. When you apply parallax scrolling, you’re essentially making the background move slower as you scroll up, down or sideways as you view information in the foreground. This difference in motion speed as you scroll creates an interesting effect that fools your mind into an impression of 3D.
As popular as this technique is, it’s going through a phase of being overused. That’s typical of cool and innovative web design techniques and no different than when we played with the latest must-have toys during our childhoods.
But what kind of best practices can be applied to parallax scrolling? It might create a dilemma for some when using it just to use it can potentially backfire.
Consider Whether Your Site Would Benefit
With so many creative touches that can be applied to parallax scrolling, it seems that any site could apply it in some way. Regardless, it might not fit into the basic theme of your business. The design technique generally applies to movement, and your business may not have anything that relates. Considering web design has to work on a psychological level that taps into the true spirit of your business, a business with no relation to movement may have trouble utilizing the technique well.
This isn’t to say you can’t apply it to businesses that seem overly stationary. Clothing designer Krystalrae cleverly uses the technique to have clothes change on a model as you scroll up.
Give Narrative to Parallax Scrolling
As an add-on to whether your site should employ movement, you also shouldn’t use it just to wow people with special effects. It should be employed into a narrative that sends a message about something, namely your brand. The use of humor is always the best approach, and the use of movement can add much more.
In other cases, you might want to use animation to tell the story of how your business started. In almost all cases, animation is going to be your best bet with parallax scrolling, because using real pictures may have its limitations. This doesn’t mean you can’t think outside the box and employ real pictures that could creatively interact with a slower-moving background.
Use Multiple Layers
To expand your creativity, you should try using more than just two layers when applying parallax scrolling. Some sites are now using numerous layers to create more depth to the technique. Consider it a new cyber version of Walt Disney’s multiplane camera that was designed already in the 1930s. And while parallax scrolling uses computer graphics, it still gives that magical sense of depth you see in Disney’s classic animated features.
Mobile Uses for Parallax Scrolling
Right now, parallax scrolling is more of a challenge to employ on mobile devices. That’s likely going to change as responsive web design becomes more standard. Here at U22, we can work with you to brainstorm and create the best possible parallax scrolling for your mobile-ready site.
Most of all, we’re on top of the latest trends on parallax scrolling and can make your website come alive using the best creative techniques. Contact us and we’ll tell you about all of our web design tools we can use to give your site a truly professional flair.
We’re located in Costa Rica and offer the best outsourced video design results you’ll find anywhere else.