The neverending trend
Ever since 2011, the parallax scrolling effect has made a tremendous impact on web design and user interface as a whole. Unlike other trends that last for a year or two, this scrolling technique has stuck around on desktop and mobile websites and doesn’t seem to lose popularity. Why? Because it looks amazing. When done right, a parallax website could give a mesmerizing experience and show uniqueness to the brand. The result can be a beautiful and memorable for any user who visits it.
In this article, we’ve selected 20 of the most beautifully designed examples for parallax websites.
What is a parallax website?
The etymology of the word comes from the Greek “parallaxis” which means “alteration”. The parallax is a special effect where the background moves at a slower rate in comparison to what’s in front. The technique creates the optical illusion of depth. This happens because we perceive objects that are closer to us as larger compared to the objects that are farther away. Additionally, when the objects in the background move slower, this creates the effect of a 3-dimensional experience.
The scrolling culture
We cannot ignore the so-called scrolling culture embedded into the user experience in the last few years. While before the norm was to design your websites in a way the need to scroll is minimized, now it’s exactly the opposite. Users have become accustomed to scrolling, especially on their phones. Social media websites that offer endless-scroll news feeds are now the standard, so there is no surprise this trend has grown deeper into every type of website. In addition, Google favors websites that offer longer session durations. In order to accomplish this, you could create a unique scrolling experience for your users. Designing an accurately executed parallax can create immersion, natural movement and draw your user’s attention to your CTAs.
The golden mean
As with everything else, creating a good parallax website can be tricky. When given the freedom to create something unique, engaging and eye-catching, it’s quite easy to go overboard with the special effects and get the opposite result. If there is too much movement that takes place and too many objects “fighting” in the background, this might easily overwhelm and discomfort your users instead of immersing them into your story. Always remember, that less is more.
We have found some great examples of parallax scrolling websites that do it right, in order to inspire you.
This website is an ideal example of how the parallax effect creates the illusion of depth. The objects overlap beautifully into a perspective as if we’re scrolling into a sea of floating food. In addition, the pointer that creates bubbles underwater is a very nice touch.
In short, ex Manhattan agency directors become Brooklyn hands-on designers with a very clean and artistic parallax website. The presentation is smooth and stylish and adds a nice mystery factor with the two figures with covered faces. Hovering them unveils their faces and we think it’s a nice touch to the aesthetics of the website as a whole.
3. Melanie F
Ecommerce websites usually focus on clean design with easy and intuitive navigation, the simpler the better. In this case, however, the children’s slippers website had found the perfect balance between creativity and efficiency. In a way, there is an order to the chaos and it looks absolutely amazing. Followed by a nice soothing melody, the parallax scrolling unveils beautiful floating shapes and letters.
This is a website that focuses on educating people about the advantages of joining a credit union. Whether we agree with the concept or not, we can for sure admire the creativity and effort put into creating this parallax website. The animation is simply beautiful and tells the story of your money and what they could grow into if deposited.
You really need to turn up the volume for this, as Porsche will give you a nice history lesson about the brand throughout the years. The parallax website experience combines music, shapes, and images to time travel to every decade from the 1930s to the 2020s. It’s quite exciting to watch how everything changes gradually until it reaches the current days.
A delicious parallax scrolling website that combines product photography with animated drawn images.
Cyclemon is a small project by two free-lance digital artists who sell beautiful prints of unique bicycle illustrations. Apparently the creators are aware of how much presentation matters as the website experience is so enjoyable and great looking. We’re especially in love with the colors and the simple yet detailed illustrations of those full of personality bicycles.
The company offers an alternative way of transportation that is environmentally friendly the same way if offers an alternative approach of user experience on their website. The fluid animation gives a sense of motion and invites us to join the ride.
This parallax scrolling website focuses on daily water usage by a person in the UK in a very smart way. While scrolling, we experience the daily routines of a person who wakes up, goes to take a shower, dresses up and prepares himself a breakfast. We immerse ourselves in the cool animation and in the same time we read the statistics that show us how much water it takes to make something we use on a daily basis.
At the end of the presentation, we realize that although we’ve reached the stars, there still over 1 billion earthlings who still lack access to clean water. The scrolling experience ends with the option to watch a 1:30 long video on the topic.
Every last drop appears to be a winner in many CSS categories and it absolutely deserves it. It’s engaging, it has a natural flow and it’s quite creative.
Gucci has a long history of dictating their own fashion and thinking out of the box. Rules rarely apply to creators who want to stand out and we can see the example of that on their website. Classics, modernism, and surrealism transcend into a bizarre and yet mesmerizing fashion aesthetics. All styles collide into a memorable parallax website experience. You got to see it for yourself.
11. Ivy Chen
Ivy is a concept artist who has crafted an amazingly looking portfolio where she showcases her fashion and graphic designs. The parallax scrolling combines both fashion designs and illustrations into one entity where everything works in harmony. We really love how fashion clothing sketches evolve into a final product.
12. The Walking Dead
An exclusive behind the scenes look at a daily “life” of an undead. This is an online comic book based on the popular franchise The Walking Dead that takes the parallax scrolling technique and implements it to give the reader a more personal experience in the story. In case you’ve always wanted to visit a zombie school, now is the time.
13. Apple iPad Pro
As expected from Apple, this iPad presentation provides us with a clean scrolling experience and smooth animations. It’s very satisfying to watch whether you’re a fan of their products or not. We especially love the horizontal sliding effect that differs from most parallax desktop websites that scroll down.
14. Putzengel (The Cleaning Angels)
This cleaning company set in Austria offers its services with the help of one of the most good looking websites we’ve seen. The parallax scrolling takes us through a colorful scrapbook and engages us with different cool tweaks such as the crumpled paper that we can drag and drop into the recycle bin. The design needs to be clean after all.
Bagigia have found a very creative and designer way to showcase their product. While we scroll, the item invites us to “take it, turn it on and play with it”. It rotates and adds scrapbook-like notes about the product, while in the meantime, there is an animated zipper that plays the role of a progress bar.
16. Mild Design
Mild is a visual artist who specializes in hand-drawn illustrations. The website is sophisticated and offers unique aesthetics that please the eye. Another good example of parallax scrolling being especially suitable for portfolios.
17. NASA Prospect
This lovely parallax website was created by a group of students who study design, in collaboration with NASA. What makes it even more interesting, is that these students had no previous experience in coding prior to this project. And yet the advanced usage of HTML/CSS/JS is impressive and it takes us on a space adventure.
This Russian real estate website is a great example of balanced usage of parallax, transitions and smooth animations. The collaboration between clean yet artistic design and advanced coding brings us a stylish futuristic experience.
Earlier we mentioned the less is more concept. This website is exactly that. The simple parallax that leaves a static background while we scroll the foreground content gives cleaner and more suitable for a business website user experience without being strict. Simple solutions such as changing the angle of some of the content have proven to be more than enough to give this website personality.
If we wanted to showcase the different capabilities of parallax scrolling and give a rich palette of transition examples, this would be the website. When we explore the homepage, we take a walk around the hotel and admire the artwork of the designer.
We hope these examples proved the capabilities of parallax scrolling and the amazing results it can achieve. If done right, this technique could elevate the experience of your website to higher levels of engagement and immersion and motivate your users to unveil your final message.
If you opt for trying it out yourself, there are numerous resources, detailed documentation, and plugins that would walk you through the whole process. You could also always ask a developer to assist you.
Just always keep in mind that parallax is a powerful tool and overdoing it could result in distraction and even annoyance. Less is more.
We hope you enjoyed these examples of parallax scrolling. Which ones did you like the most? Would you try it on your website? Please let us know in the comments below.