Intro to Parallax Scrolling

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Here are some interesting insights on Parallax Scrolling I recently learned as I researched the design technique, and explored its potential and limitations. I found a Wikipedia entry that describes it this way:

Web designers began incorporating parallax scrolling in 2011, using HTML5 and CSS3. Websites with parallax backgrounds are becoming an increasingly popular strategy, as advocates argue it is a simple way to embrace the fluidity of the Web.[5] Additionally, proponents use parallax backgrounds as a tool to better engage users and improve the overall experience that a website provides. However, 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.”[6]

It was a bit incomplete, so I took my first stab at Wikipedia editing, and added the following pro’s and con’s of Parallax Scrolling from what I’ve learned and seen in my own work to the encyclopedia’s entry:

Pros

  • Parallax scrolling allows for the creation of dynamic, interactive user experience that has the potential to improve visual appeal.
  • It enables content publisher to display content on a single page, therefore reducing navigation and clicks required for an end user to consume the content.
  • With parallax scrolling, a user can be “led” around a website according to a designer’s or UX expert’s intent.

Cons

  • Because parallax scrolling involves the use of heavy animation, it can take web pages longer to load.
  • Parallax scrolling does not function smoothly across all browsers.
  • Parallax scrolling can make it difficult or frustrating for the end user easily consume content due to excessive scrolling.

Also, keep in mind that with the rise of mobile users navigating the internet, designers or UX expert’s must translate the effect of the experience for mobile device to avoid compatibility problems. These are just some helpful insights marketing leaders should keep in mind as they provide oversight to their web or design team on website projects.

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