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What is parallax website design?

21st November 2016

The popularity of parallax website design grew drastically in 2013 and 2014, giving the website visitor a new and fun way of browsing websites.

Designers and developers are always exploring new methods to make their websites and online applications more appealing to their target audience both through content and through engaging visuals and functionality. Parallax design proved to be one of the most successful design techniques that took the internet by storm.

Parallax website design

What exactly is parallax website design?

The term “parallax” first came from the visual effect of 2-dimensional side-scrolling videogames that used different background image movement speeds to create the illusion of depth whilst the gamer was playing. This was generally done by making the video game background move slower than the foreground in order to make it seem further away.

Side scrolling video game

Essentially, the same concept applies to parallax website design in which the background of the website moves at a different speed as the rest of the page for an impressive visual experience.

Parallax design gives websites a great opportunity to:

  • Impress visitors with page depth and animation
  • Take a story-telling approach to guide visitors through the website
  • Make page visits last longer by encouraging visitors to real all of the content on the page
  • Improve your website's credibility with innovative viewing experiences

Are there any negative implications of using parallax website design?

There are a number of great benefits to using parallax design on your website, but there are also several downsides to implementing it. Most of these problems stem from the fact that a lot of parallax websites ultilise a single, long page which can be detrimental to the website’s search engine optimisation, in addition to loading speeds. Here's a quick breakdown or the negatives you may experience when using parallax website design:

  • Search engine optimisation can be negatively effected; websites with a single page allow only one set of meta information, one effective h1 tag, and one page URL
  • Using a one-page design will likely mean the inclusion of a lot of content on one single page - this may mean a lot of images which will undoubtedly increase loading times and the frustration of the user

How to design a great parallax website

If you are wanting to use parallax design on your company website or side project, use the following tips for designing a great parallax website:

  • Don't use loads of parallax features - utilise the feature sparingly but in a way that is impactful for the visitor
  • Give prominence to calls to action when directing the visitor through the website
  • Use it to tell a visual story
  • Make it fun and engaging with high quality images

We hope you found this information useful - if you'd like to know more about website design, please get in touch with the Cosmic team today!