Apply the Parallax Technique for a Better User Experience

It’s crucial to build stimulating visuals around your narrative

Adding depth and richness to your web designs is necessary for optimal visual interactivity. Using the parallax technique is one of the many ways web designers can do this. Parallax is a “displacement or different in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight.” In web design, the parallax technique delivers depth and movement on a page by scrolling two or more different image elements across different site lines.

The Parallax technique has recently become popular with companies and websites like Smokey Bones, Beer Camp, Campaign Monitor, and Movember and we’ve included how they’ve implemented the technique with examples below. These companies add visual interactivity by having movement follow your mouse from the left as a user moves around on a screen. Another way to utilize the Parallax technique is by building vertical scrolling into every page to create a uniquely rich user experience as they make their way down your website’s page.

You want to entertain your audience. The best way to get this trick to work in a big way is not to use the Parallax to look “cool” or to be “cutting edge.” You want the Parallax to work the effect around a narrative, or a story. People want to be entertained. People want a story. If you as a web designer, can involve the visitor into your “story,” you can ultimately get them to do what you want: buy something. The Parallax can do this. Give them something to dig their eyes into. Give them something they can connect with.

Give your audience a narrative. Think about one of your favorite websites. Why did you remember it? The reason you remember it is probably because you recall a great narrative built around some really cool visuals. Narrative in web design is crucial. Whatever you design, a user visiting you or your company’s website is experiencing something. You want to make sure “what they experience” is a good experience. Create a good narrative.

Here are five great examples to check out:

Smokey Bones: The restaurant chain Smokey Bones’ sells barbeque sandwiches and burgers. They use the parallax effect to sell the experience of dining at their BBQ joint. (

Beer Camp: The interactive studio throws a major party at SXSW each year. This website was created for their 2011 event. Beer Camp scrolls type and images from itself. At first it’s a little confusing, but after you understand what they’re doing, it’s pretty cool. (

Campaign Monitor: Campaign Monitor, an email marketing app, recently decided to start hiring new employees. They created a vertical scrolling parallax based website on their careers page to show what it’s like to work there. (

Movember: This website is really just a large invitation card, but the invite unfolds as a user scrolls. As you scroll you find out more details about the event, at the end, you’re invited to make a ticket purchase. (

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