Please Parallax Responsibly: How to Join the Biggest Trend in Web Design Without Wiping Out

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Please Parallax Responsibly: How to Join the Biggest Trend in Web Design Without Wiping Out

Parallax web design has received praise and recognition from countless web developers
and business owners in the past year due to the stunning scenes that it can create by making use of the parallax effect.


The challenge is ensuring that it helps to deliver the necessary message in the
context of the website. Improper usage can lead to bad experiences for visitors
caused by elements that move too much or make the site hard to read and
understand.


Understanding
the basics of parallax design while keeping a few tips from the experts
in mind will ensure that future parallax websites are effective,
succinct and beneficial for websites and visitors.



 What are the Basics of Parallax Design?

Parallax design has existed since the 1930s when animators used two objects moving at
different
speeds to give an illusion of movement in their backgrounds. This
technique rode the ebb and flow of animation trends until it was used
once again in the 1980s when video game design was in its infancy. Moon
Patrol was the first example of a game that successfully used parallax
design to make it more immersive.


Parallax design entered into the field of web design only recently with the pushes that
made
HTML5 and CSS 3 compatibility possible across more browsers than ever
before. With the support of block elements, z-layers and numerous other
two-dimensional elements, it was possible to have a foreground, an
intermediate ground, and a background without using cross-compatibility
tools like JavaScript.


The basic of parallax design as it relates to web design became the following:

Three layers are placed one on top of the other. The background is on the bottom, the
intermediate above the background, and the foreground is on top where the content will be displayed.


The greater the perceived distance from the viewer, the slower things in a parallax
layout will move. This means the background will move the slowest while the
intermediate ground will move at a pace that seems faster than the background.


Why Does Parallax Design Work?

Parallax designs rely on using perceived motion to keep the person viewing a web page
immersed
in whatever is being displayed on the page. Compare it to the dot that
sing-a-long lyrics often employ. The dot keeps a person focused on the
point that needs to be made at that moment before guiding the visitor
along to the next point.


Parallax design makes telling stories, describing products, and persuading visitors to
do
something even easier than before. Couple this with the full-page
elements that trends like responsive web design have encouraged and it
can quickly amount to a website that approaches the same levels of
interactivity that Flash-based websites have without the need for a
third-party browser plug-in.


This
allows content creators to control the flow of information while
standing out from every other website with a standard layout. Connecting
the dots for visitors has never been easier, as a proper parallax
design will do so on its own.


How to Avoid Wiping Out with Parallax Design

Like all trends that have impacted web design, it is possible to do parallax web design
incorrectly. That’s why it is vital as a web designer to understand how to best utilize parallax web design.

Below are a few important things to keep in mind when using parallax elements.


Ask: Is Parallax Necessary?

The
first question to ask when considering a parallax design is: does a
parallax design have applicability in this instance? While it can
produce astounding layouts, it may not be appropriate for every
situation.


Parallax designs should be used when there’s a story to tell from start to finish. The
effect
that perceived movement should have accompanies ‘journeys’ far better
than long articles dense with information. Furthermore, parallax layouts
may benefit a website more when used as the main trunk of a tree where
there are ample opportunities to branch out. This will allow websites to
reduce negative factors like bounce rates while encouraging deep,
nested link structures beneficial for SEO.


Keep Load Times Minimized

Parallax designs hinge on the idea that they should be beautiful and interactive. In a
perfect
world with unlimited Internet speeds and bandwidth, this would be
ideal. Long load times, even for the most beautiful of parallax designs,
can quickly turn visitors the other way.


Use elements popularized in responsive web design to make the resolution of images
and other heavy elements optimized for the expected connections of visitors. This will ensure that the parallax design stays beautiful without detracting 
from the functionality for users on lower-end devices or connections.


Polish Elements to the Highest Level

While the broad concept of parallax web design is relatively easy to understand, it’s
the
little extras that separate a usable design from a jaw-dropping one.
Small effects like motion blurs, glows, and similar effects will make a
parallax design appear realistic and in motion. Never settle for a
simple layering of elements that looks too flat, as this can mitigate
most of the benefits that a parallax web design offers.


Calls to Action Should Be Priority

Parallax designs hinge on interactivity and guiding users. This is why calls to action
should
always be large, bright destinations that visitors want to visit. Large
buttons should be employed when there is a call to action. Don’t rely
on small prompts hidden within text when the goal of parallax is to
effectively guide a user from one destination to the next.


Keeping Parallax Design Superb

While
parallax is the current trend, it’s important to know when to use it
and to note that it is not for every website. It’s also important to
know how to use it. When a parallax layout is used, it needs to be
polished as brightly as possible. The small touches add up to make it
irresistible for visitors to be guided from start to finish – which is
the ultimate goal and what a parallax design needs to be successful.


Anything less than that makes for a parallax wipe out.

 

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