Not Your Daddy’s Parallax

Anyone who has spent any time browsing the Web in the past couple of years has seen someone making an attempt at parallax design. Parallax design involves the background moving at a different rate than the foreground, creating a 3-D effect as you scroll down the page. Some sites are very successful and create an incredible user experience, while others struggle with making their vision a reality. Still others have taken the parallax concept and kicked it into high gear, creating truly animated experiences for the visitor using only their scrolling finger.

The ways animation can be implemented have changed dramatically since the 19th century, but the concept of a series of images telling a story is essentially the same. Web developers have experimented with animations since the Internet’s inception, and as technology advances, it becomes easier to achieve incredible results. As they seek to be more innovative, the Web becomes a more dynamic place for people and businesses to interact.

Screenshot of Mongolian Grill website homepage

The current trend of endless scrolling single-page websites presents a new avenue for the artistic designer to show the world what they are capable of. Some developers have taken the parallax experience to the next level with scroll-activated animations.

Budget does not necessarily need to negate the use of animation. The Hot Iron Mongolian Grill website takes the very simple concept of a restaurant landing page and has created a bright and engaging experience for the visitor through the use of artful scroll-based animations. The visitor can scroll forward and backward through the animation, allowing the simple website to feel more substantive while showcasing the amount of work that went into the site and delivering the simple message about the restaurant’s offerings.

Web Design Decoded website screenshot

On the other end of the spectrum, industry titan Adobe has taken an artistic approach to the presentation of its new product Muse. Rather than depending on white papers to extoll the virtues of Muse, Adobe has created a design that is both interactive and informative – relying on scroll-based animations to tell the visitor its story.

It seems that regardless of the size of the company, the trend for a more visual experience is on the rise for developers and agencies dedicated to delivering a substantial and dynamic experience for visitors. Using parallax as the stepping stone, creative developers are bringing interactivity and animation together and challenging everyone to up their game in the process.