Parallax scrolling and the tips on how to use it.

From video game classic to modern web design craze, parallax technique is currently the fastest growing trend in the digital world. First used in 1980s in arcade video games to simulate 3D effect, it is now being incorporated into web pages to give them depth and layering.

Wondering how it works? Parallax scrolling techniques are based on HTML5 and CSS3 coding. By using specially designed lines of code, tags, and attributes page elements are given fixed positions. Javascript then catches the direction in which the user scrolls and algorithms make foreground and background move as the developer intended. All these effects and techniques combined create an illusion of 3D effect.

Parallax scrolling is getting more and more popular due to its multipurposeness. Having difficulty in engaging viewers in your iconographics? Your product presentation just doesn’t stand out from the pack? Make it interactive with parallax scrolling. It is being used across different fields, from movie promotions, through apps, and finally to portfolios. If done well, website using parallax scrolling can get popular within days, thanks to social media spread and mouth-to-mouth recommendations.

Parallax technique - Life of Pi

Life of Pi(http://journey.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/)

Parallax technique so eagerly used by web designers is fairly simple, but one must be aware of several rules to make it really shine.

The most important thing to have in mind is to focus on depth and layering of images. It is the main principle of parallax scrolling and should be used with consideration. In order to succeed, you need to focus on several different elements which will appear both in the foreground and in the background of your page. Carefully think what images will best represent the content of your website and focus on adjusting their duration and colour. Make them fade out at right moment. Timing is the key to success. Have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment. You might not hit the spot at first try, but don’t give up. Play with parallax scrolling as you wish your users will.

Professionals recommend to make your website tell a story. You have invented something? Show how it has been done step by step. Do incorporate historical timeline of your product. It will help you get connected with users and build the sense of community. Feel free to use animation and sounds, or engage the users in theme game. Make every visitor curious what happens next. Your creativity is your limit.

But be careful. Hooked on modern techniques, you may easily overlook the simple fact that some users will try to open your page in older browsers. You shouldn’t strip them of the opportunity to have fun at your page. Make sure your modern website is compatible with not only up-to-date Mozilla, but also Internet Explorer and others, not so commonly used browsers. Your users will much appreciate it.

At this point, it is also useful to test you website on portable devices, like tablets and smartphones. With the spread of technology and wider availability of modern electronics it is the thing to consider.

Once you’ve possessed the skills needed to make parallax scrolling work, you will be eager to show everyone what you can do with it. Don’t, it’s a trap. Users won’t appreciate flashy images popping out from every corner. However tempting it may be to use new techniques on your website, do remember that, as everything, parallax scrolling needs to serve some purpose. Don’t use it just because it is fashionable. Use it to create greater user experience or to show your products, not to simply show off your skills. Above all, your website must me readable, so don’t overdo it.

Parallax technique - The Ring Restaurant

The Ring Restaurant(http://theringbarlondon.co.uk/)

Last, but not least, make your page responsive and fun. Add sound to optimize user experience. Do remember that details matter, so don’t forget the little things. They make the website stand out from the crowd and create memorable web experience.

Parallax scrolling is fairly friendly technique to incorporate, but you need to consider its limitations as well. It takes time to prepare perfect page. First, you need to make sure that the basic version of your website is up and running in all kinds of browsers. Only then you can implement parallax scrolling.

Also you need to be aware that pages using the techniques described tend to load longer. In order not to discourage your viewers, you can introduce a simple animation, or creative loading sign to entertain them.

Parallax technique - Adonis Band

Adonis Band(http://adonisband.com)

Sounds difficult? Don’t be cross, just turn to specially designed web tools like Skrollr or ScrollMagic to help you achieve your goal and give your website the wow factor it deserves.

Author Bio: Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a powerful Ruby on Rails platform, that allows you to deploy Rails apps quickly and easily.

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