Mindless Philosophy

Parallax Websites...cool, or just crowd pleasing steps?

by Darren Street

Created on: Tuesday March 18, 2014


The latest thing, the hot trend, the effect to have, these days seems to be a parallax website. For people who are unfamiliar with the term it effectively means that when you scroll the site, funky effects occur which are typically background images giving you a pseudo 3D-esque effect. Yeah great...that's nice.


I remember the bad old days of monolithic flash websites.  Animation on the web...weahey !  

We had some fantastic examples of blatant over-flashery. The tool was overused by thousands of poor creative types trying to spruce up their poor designs with a bit of whiz bang.

It didn’t last. It looked cheap and nasty.

I suspect parallax will ultimately go the same way unless the feature is used appropriately to tell the story and to enhance the visitor experience.

It reminds me of a movie called Strictly Ballroom. Scott Hastings is a fantastic web designer err ballroom dancer, but is bored. He wants to dance his own steps at the Pan Pacific Grand Prix Dancing Championship but the Chairman of the Australian Dancing Federation (Barry Fife) wants him to dance federation steps. What does Scott do?

Does he create his website and focus on the visitor experience, good design and usability...or does he succumb to crowd pleasing flash effects to wow the audience?

You will have to watch the movie to find out.

A good example of a parallax website is Ben the Bodyguard. The parallax effect is central to the narrative and works really well. It’s not just bolted on as a bit of window dressing. It’s been considered and worked out.

Parallax is just another way of telling a story. I am hoping that web designers and developers use the medium effectively so that it isn’t just another Flash in the pan.


Donn Fletcher commented on 24 Mar 2014

I suspect its just a fad anyhow. Much like 3D is so popular. It will go quickly when folks are done with it.

Scott commented on 18 Mar 2014

I have seen the film and my dancing is more like Silverlight than Flash thank you very much.

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