Do you want to impress your website visitors with visuals that go beyond the conventions of two dimensions?
Parallax scrolling not only evokes a sense of depth and dimensionality, it also increases interactivity, inspiring people to stay engaged and keep them moving through a website’s content. Some of the best examples of parallax scrolling today have been built in no-code web creation tools, providing their audiences with exciting web-based experiences that do not require coding knowledge to create.
What is Parallax Scrolling?
Taking text, photos, or other onscreen elements and setting them into motion at different speeds as someone moves through a website produces the optical illusion of parallax. Usually what’s in the foreground will move much quicker than what’s in the background. Parallax creates a sense of depth, with elements moving on seemingly separate planes.
We predominantly associate the use of parallax effect in design with modern websites, but examples of parallax can be seen as far back as the video games of the 1980s. Though there were some primitive vector-based 3D video games at the time, most arcade games were two-dimensional.
Game designers had to work within the technological limitations of these machines, and parallax scrolling was a trick that could add a sense of space and perspective. Video games like 1982’s Moon Patrol with its bouncing lunar rover speeding across the screen offered gamers something more than a flat plane of play, which made this game more exciting.
Just as the game designers of the 80s wanted a simple way to make their games more dynamic, today’s web designers also utilize parallax as a simple way to make websites more interesting and action-packed.
Why Parallax Scrolling is Effective
As we will see from some of our favorite examples of parallax scrolling below, this design technique enhances the visual experience as well as guiding visitors through a website.
- Parallax scrolling offers users a heightened sense of control in revealing content.
- Whether you’re pushing a design with multiple layers of visuals or want to do something as simple as a single section image parallax, parallax scrolling adds a sense of creativity that makes websites stand out.
- The motion of parallax scrolling works well in highlighting text and visuals, setting elements in motion apart from those that are static.
- Parallax establishes a sense of hierarchy, revealing content at different points in time as a user scrolls.
- For telling complex stories or narratives, parallax scrolling functions well in taking people through a series of events or steps of related information.
10 Examples of Parallax Scrolling
Now that you've got more of an idea as to why you should be using this game-changing design technique, let's take a look at some of the best examples of parallax scrolling.
The Big Slide
If you’re looking for parallax scrolling examples where storytelling is at the center, The Big Slide is well worth checking out. This piece of digital journalism goes deep in telling about a significant landslide in British Columbia and how it impacted the surrounding ecosystem. This design was built with Vev, and is full of scrollytelling techniques like parallax effects that keeps the story moving.
Opening up with a wide-angle drone shot of the snow-capped peaks and valley where this slide happened, you’re immediately drawn into the story. As you move through this space, there are breaks in the content where text moves over static background images. These instances of parallax scrolling signal the transition from one block of content to another, breaking it up and providing a sense of structure.
65dB, a French agency, takes a maximalist approach with a design bursting with motion and color. Every movement through this space reveals something that’s visually exciting and wows us with its sense of creativity.
If you’re looking for examples of parallax scrolling, 65dD is like a masterclass in all that’s possible. You’ll experience horizontal scrolling sections, and text and graphics animated at different speeds, as well as a wide variety of animated effects that make this a dazzling website to scroll through.
This report from the UN Office on Drugs & Crime details its 2021- 2025 strategy for combating the global problem of synthetic drug abuse.
Given the scope of this worldwide crisis, there’s much in terms of information and data that make up this report, but there’s enough going on visually that keeps it from feeling too dense. Designed with Vev, there are several parallax effects throughout like scroll-triggered text moving over static visuals, as seen in the map above.
This graphic representing UNDOC’s “Four Spheres of Action” is another effective use of parallax scrolling that puts these principles of their organization into the form of animated visuals, highlighting their importance.
Phyll embraces a fresh and clean aesthetic that works perfectly with the natural fruit and veggie smoothies they produce. As you scroll berries float and leafy greens hover, offsetting these visuals from their surroundings with a sense of parallax.
Parallax effects create the illusion of physicality, which works so well here in highlighting the natural ingredients Phyll’s smoothies are made from.
Whenever you have long form content, such as an annual report, you want to make sure that there’s enough variety in terms of visuals as well as including interactivity to keep visitors’ interest. Parallax scrolling takes care of both, evoking a sense of depth and dimensionality, as well as giving visitors control over how they move through it.
The Norway based energy company Eidsiva has much to tell in this report about its efforts toward renewable energy. They use many of Vev’s built-in features like fade-ins, number counters, horizontal scrolling, video embeds, as well as parallax scrolling in reporting on their company’s efforts towards more sustainable energy resources.
LetZKola impresses us with examples of parallax scrolling that take on a variety of different forms. Text and visuals are set in motion vertically and horizontally, background images fade in and out, and there’s a distinct sense of layering. Where many examples of parallax scrolling limit elements in moving along a single plane or direction, LetZKola pushes its visual elements in multiple directions, making it a dynamic and engaging user experience.
WWF is an environmental organization dedicated to rehabilitating ecosystems and building awareness about the importance of biodiversity. Built with Vev, this website features text fade-ins, animated graphics, as well as multi-layer and single-section examples of parallax scrolling.
In the above section, an owl sits perched behind vegetation. What’s in the foreground moves slower than what’s behind it. There are multiple layers that give this a sense of three-dimensionality drawing you into this wilderness scene as you scroll.
The Haircut is an artistic visual essay by designer Frances To in documenting her pursuit of getting her hair cut like Japanese pianist Aimi Kobayashi. This design has an experimental aesthetic, with half-toned photos, tumbling letters, spinning visuals, and other weird and wonderful design choices.
The Haircut takes parallax scrolling and utilizes it in unorthodox and unusual ways. Boxes of text bounce, words shrink, and panels of content open up, juxtaposing their movement against other on screen elements.
Human Rights House
The Human Rights House is an organization whose mission is to help people across the world whose human rights are threatened due to political upheaval or other events. In this annual report they discuss some of the most pressing human rights issues and what must be done to help make people’s lives better.
There are several examples of parallax scrolling that they use in talking about their work as defenders of human rights. They break up this design with large photos of people, with scroll-triggered text moving over these images. Parallax scrolling highlights The Human Rights House’s messaging about what they want to accomplish, and in combination with these photos humanizes those they want to help out.
Sustainability reports are another form of longform content that benefits from elements like animations,micro-interactions, and parallax scrolling. Service Now, which put together this website with Vev, offers insights about why companies need to work towards better sustainability using several eye-catching visual effects.
The above scroll-triggered parallax visual of an acrobat about to grab another in mid-leap is an apt metaphor for the helping hand Service Now wants to give companies in improving their efforts toward sustainability.
Add Depth and Interactivity Through Parallax Scrolling
Looking to transform your own web designs through the dimensionality and interactivity of parallax scrolling? Vev makes it possible to create your own parallax scrolling designs, with no code required. Build breathtaking websites with ready-to-go design elements like those for parallax scrolling and other animated effects. When you’re ready, publish anywhere on the web straight from Vev.