Articles

Parallax, the latest craze.

  • By Tim Simmons - Nov. 12th, 2015
  • Owner
  • TrueZeal

The preface

I planned to write this article a couple of months ago. I even bookmarked a few parallax scrolling sites to use as a reference. But when I went back to get the URLs, the sites were no longer coded as parallax. So I created this page as a parallax scrolling page instead. This will guarantee that you'll see a parallax page today.

What is it?

Before I go too far, if you don't already know, parallax scrolling for websites is the latest craze. In layman’s terms, it's long scrolling pages that normally have full width and sometimes full screen images that scroll at a different speeds or directions. As you scroll down this page, you’ll see how cool it is. But…

From Wikipedia

A Purdue University study, published in 2013, revealed the following findings: "... Although parallax scrolling enhanced certain aspects of the user experience, it did not necessarily improve the overall user experience.”

Problems can be deeper than you think!

Judicious use.

To be practical, parallax scrolling has many things wrong with it. Here's the short list:

  • Slower to download:
    • Image(s) must be larger, as well as larger than the viewing area.
    • More JavaScript is needed for effect.
    • Mobile devices and Internet speeds are hindered.
  • Scrolling further required:
    • You only get the full effect with a top to bottom scroll.
    • It forces important content down the page and the visitor must scroll to find it.
    • Your message is scattered in various and sometimes random areas.
  • Updates & Cost:
    • Your layout will now be dictated by the style.
    • Determining where and how updates will apply may be an issue.
    • Finding the right content and images for the parallax layout can be more time-consuming

100% to move 33.3%

Beautiful, but not harmless.

Eye candy.

Of course everyone wants to stand out in business,
but unnecessary pretense can do more harm than good.

Speed Vs. Design

In conclusion

You should think of parallax scrolling, or any flashy moving animation, as eye candy. It’s junk food covered in sugar. If your website’s purpose is sales, then it needs to be built like an athlete. Sure, treat yourself to a little eye candy if it helps to differentiate yourself from your competition. But if your potential customers don’t see the value in these differences, don’t expect your website to create more sales.