Parallax technology is being used increasingly often in web design to create site’s which offer a unique and interactive experience. Creating a 3D like effect is by far the most common use of parallax scrolling techniques, but the technology is by no means limited to this. Web designers are continuously pushing the boundaries of parallax technology and coming up with innovative new uses and techniques. The following tips, plug-ins, and themes can be used to add a creative twist to any website:
Popular Parallax Scrolling jQuery Plug-Ins
In its most basic form, parallax technology can be used to make elements grow, shrink, and move around interactively. However, when used creatively with several layers at once, the technique opens up a variety of interesting design possibilities. The following selection of popular parallax Plug-ins covers a range of different effects:
This plug-in uses multiple layers to give depth to an image. The layers react to mouse placement in a way that mimics a point of view. Each layer moves at a different rate depending on its size and placement. It is most often used to create a playful website header or other interactive image.
jQuery Scroll Path
jQuery Scroll Path enables users to move elements of text or images around a page on a predefined path set by the designer. The speed of the movement is controlled by use of the mouse wheel, up and down arrow keys, and the space bar. The plug-in even comes with a custom scroll bar, and in supported browsers, full path rotations are also possible.
jQuery Parallax Image Slider
The jQuery Parallax Image slider plug-in creates a simple banner in which multiple images and various moving background elements slide horizontally. Users can navigate through the images via directional arrowhead buttons. This plug-in offers an ideal way to display a range of interactive options in an attractive image form.
jQuery Image Parallax
jQuery Image Parallax uses repetition, animation, and transparency to create a single image which has the illusion of depth and dimension. By cleverly building up layers, this plug-in produces the effect that users are able to zoom in and out of a photograph.
Curtain.js is a plug-in which creates a layered curtain raising effect by using multiple fixed panels. Users can navigate down the page using a scrollbar, mouse wheel, or keyboard, and as they do, each layer will reveal itself as the previous layer rolls upward. This plug-in is great for sites which feature a list or countdowns, as pages can be dramatically revealed in a sequential order.
Useful Parallax Technology Tips and Tricks
When implemented effectively, parallax technology can be used to engage visitors and provide a more interesting user experience. However, with such a fast moving technology many web designers encounter problems, and instead of improving a website, parallax features end up overwhelming users and distracting from the site’s overall purpose. Here are some crucial tips and trick to successfully implement parallax scrolling:
1. Take Steps To Improve Performance
2. Take Viewpoint Size Into Account
Visitors will be viewing your site from many different monitors, so make sure that your site works seamlessly on small, medium, and large screen sizes.
3. Design With Mobile Devices In Mind
Mobile devices are quickly becoming the most prominent way to access the web. As a result, it is important that your site works well on smartphones as well as desktop browsers. To make certain that your site is usable on mobile devices, test and debug beforehand, and alter the site where necessary so that mobile user experience is of a suitable quality.
Parallax Technology in WordPress Themes
With so many possible uses, parallax technology can be applied to a wide range of websites successfully. When used effectively, parallax scrolling and image effects are able to help improve the clarity of a site as well as adding interest and depth.