Parallax Scrolling: Here is What You Need to Know!

When it comes to web design and development, there are a lot of techniques that one can employ in order to attract the user’s attention and at the same time offer a good user experience with a wonderful conversion rate. However, as the internet evolves, the average internet user’s attention spans keeps decreasing, and as a result, one needs to be at the top of their game when it comes to creating the perfect user experience.

And speaking of user experience, one extremely popular (and often misused, by the way) method is by means of Parallax scrolling. In this article, I shall be discussing certain considerations that you should bear in mind in order to create the best user experience based on Parallax. 

Parallax Scrolling: Here is What You Need to Know!

Simply put, Parallax scrolling is used to move elements on a web page at different rates, thereby creating an impression of depth. While Parallax is notorious for resulting in super-heavy and resource-centric websites, if used properly, it can surely create an engaging and impressive user experience.

User Experience And Parallax Scrolling: First Things First

In terms of user experience, the biggest and outright obvious advantage of Parallax websites is the fact that such websites can help you with story-telling. You can easily keep your visitors engaged and reduce the bounce rate of your website. However, two considerations need to be borne in mind:

  • The size of the script should be kept small.
  • Your Parallax effects should work equally well across all devices, especially mobiles.

The first one is pretty simple: your visitors will not sit and wait for your scripts to load. If your website is slow, you will lose traffic.

The second point is even more important. It is the era of mobile devices, and more and more users are relying on tablets and smartphones (that is, devices with varying screen resolutions) to access the internet. As a result, it goes without saying that your website should not leave out the mobile users, in order to be truly successful.

Speaking of mobile Parallax, there are various libraries and scripts that you can employ in order to ensure that your effects are being translated across devices without any issues. Such libraries and scripts offer native mobile support for Parallax scrolling. Some of the most popular ones are as follows:


Parallax Scrolling in Neotokio‘s website

Keeping An Eye on The Size

As already mentioned, Parallax websites are infamous for being too resource-centric and heavy to load. Obviously, you would not want your website to count among such sites, would you?

To begin with, larger load times arise when you load far more on a single page than you otherwise would. Thus, it is in the best interest of the user experience to be sure regarding the usage of Parallax scrolling. Ideally, Parallax scrolling is suited for websites that can afford to keep the user waiting for a little while. For instance, if you intend to use Parallax scrolling on a magazine website or a mainstream blog, it will probably be a horrible mistake from the perspective of user experience, because those blogs or websites may have visitors that will not be too keen on waiting for the page to load.

On the other hand, if the website in question is a generic portfolio, implementing Parallax scrolling can actually create wonders, simply because the user base in question might not mind waiting for an additional few seconds.

That said, you should also be judicious with your selection of resources and scripts. Bear in mind this simple and handy statement: The more you will load, the heavier your page will become.

Parallax Scrolling in Bolia's website

Parallax Scrolling in Bolia‘s website

What About SEO?

When working with Parallax scrolling, there are certain considerations vis a vis Search Engine Optimization (or SEO, as it is popularly called). At the very basic level, you must pay special attention to on-page optimization.

A single page Parallax scrolling website needs to be optimized for a single keyword group or phrase. This is where the difference between a generic or regular website and a Parallax scrolling website becomes apparent: in case of the former, you have the liberty to optimize each page for separate keywords or phrases, but in case of the latter, you cannot take that liberty.

As a result, you need to carefully plan out your SEO strategy. Since all you have is a home page to promote, the task is not as impossible as it might seem, and if your content is promote-worthy under a narrow set of keywords, the results might be way better than expected.

With that, we come to the end of this article. At the end of it all, just like any other design technology or technique, Parallax scrolling too is a victim of its own usage — if used properly and in the right scenarios, it can boost the user experience manifolds. On the other hand, if implemented poorly, it can also hamper the chances of your website’s success and cast an adverse effect on the user experience.

Do you use or are planning to use Parallax scrolling in your websites? If so, feel free to share your experiences with us using the comments below!

About the author

Writer; coffee-lover; best-selling author; editor of The Globe Monitor; blogs at Code Carbon. Learn more about my works, follow me on Facebook or Google+.

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1 Comment

  1. Nice read. I am using the ZOO Parallax Theme on and have watched my bounce rate get pretty high. I am wondering if that is because of the one page thing. The Reduce Bounce Rate plugin may help, as I’ve just installed it after learning a few things about Google Analytics and what they call a bounce.

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