The Rise and Fall of Parallax Design: Is It Still Relevant?

It wasn’t very long ago when all the online hype was parallax web design. With their visually staggering animations pulling site viewers into an interactive experience, these websites have proven to be an effective method of online storytelling. This has been true for several years since first gaining popularity with "Nike Better World" in 2011. Everyone wanted to implement parallax functionality on their website to get a creative edge over the competition and web designers were more than happy to beef up their portfolios with these stunning online presentations. However, despite all the craze, this hot trend seems to be slowing down quite a bit now.


What Happened to Parallax Design?

Why aren't parallax sites popping up as often as they were over the past few years? Are people getting sick of this trend? Perhaps the negatives of this style began to outweigh the positives. Even though many websites use the technique well, there are also tons of websites that have gone overboard with parallax functionality to create overly complex user experiences at the expense of legibility and ease of navigation. Search engine optimization (SEO) also generally takes a hit since parallax websites tend to be single-page constructs without any internal site linking and just a single set of metatags to be crawled by search engines. In addition, these websites usually work poorly on mobile devices unless a responsive theme is purchased online.


What Does the Future Hold for Parallax Design?

Even though this trend isn't as popular as it used to be, there have certainly been improvements to parallax to make it more effective in the ever-evolving online landscape. Responsive templates like the one at Themify can be purchased to make a parallax design work across multiple devices rather than just on a desktop computer. There are also new solutions to creating the parallax scrolling effect with the use of simple CSS3 techniques rather than having to rely on Javascript. Online resources and tools such as this one can help as a guide to building these sites. 

Parallax web design remains an incredibly effective storytelling tool for websites as long as it is being used tastefully. Like many other popular design trends online there is a time and a place for parallax design, but its mezmorizing functionality does not work well for every use case.