Back in 2014, a new design trend started appearing on websites all over the world: parallax design. It was initially considered by many to be a fleeting phase that would soon be forgotten, however we are now almost mid-way through 2016 and parallax design is stronger than it’s ever been.
What is Parallax Design?
Parallax design takes its inspiration from retro 2D side-scrolling video games. It’s a highly visual way of hiding and showing information through animation when a webpage is scrolled. Generally, parallax design is categorised by the fact that the background moves at a slower rate than the rest of the page, giving the illusion of depth.
For a demonstration of parallax design, visit Rimmell London and use your mouse to scroll the page. This is a great example of the depth and 3D illusion that can be created by scrolling layered images and backgrounds at different speeds.
Parallax Design and SEO
In place of a multi-page website, designers and businesses jumped on the parallax bandwagon and moved all of their content onto one page. This can have negative effects on SEO (search engine optimisation) and Google rankings as it means that a website can only be optimised for one main heading (h1 tag) and one title tag/meta description.
Some parallax design hides the content of the webpage using techniques that also hide it from search engines when they spider your website. If a search engine can’t ‘read’ your content, it won’t rank you for keywords or phrases contained in that text.
The SEO impacts are partly why many businesses that initially redesigned their website to a parallax version have since reverted back to a more traditional website. However, that’s not to say that parallax design doesn’t have its place in the modern web. It’s perfect for storytelling, making it an ideal way to share information about your brand (e.g. company history), document a detailed product, or display reports or statistics in a way that keeps the user engaged.
10 Creative Ways to Use Parallax Design
Parallax design adds a whole new level of intrigue to a webpage. Rather than presenting users with reams of text all at once, they can uncover each section individually by scrolling. This creates a storytelling feel to the page which encourages the user to keep reading as they become invested in the journey.
Presenting information in this way gives a new lease of life to the content. Parallax design is perfect for presenting lots of information in an easy-to-digest manner. Here are ten examples of how parallax design can make your content more interesting:
- To inform or educate users about a particular topic, e.g. The Dangers of Fracking
- Showcasing annual reports or statistics, e.g. The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal
- To explain the details of a product or service, e.g. Spotify
- To tell a story, e.g. Flat Vs. Realism
- As part of a marketing campaign, e.g. Highway One Roadtrip
- To add interest to traditionally ‘dull’ topics such as finance, e.g. Make your Money Matter
- To create interactive, engaging infographics, e.g. Why your Brain Craves Infographics
- To help advertise an event, e.g. jQuery Conference 2012
- To add multimedia to news articles, e.g. The New York Times
- To make your C.V. stand out from everyone else’s, e.g. Robby Leonardi