Parallax websites bring new dimension to website design

mcgrathWhen people visit your website, they need to know the basics: who you are, what you do and how to contact you.

But if you want to go beyond the minimum requirements of website best practices, then you need to show that you are unique, interesting and ahead of the curve. You want to be the “cool kid” – not just a trendsetter, but the one who leads the pack in the right direction.

One way to become the “Big Man on Campus” is to have a Parallax site, which uses multiple backgrounds that seem to move at different speeds to create a sensation of depth (and an interesting browsing experience. It’s hard to describe; you have to look at a few first to know what I’m talking about. Check out this list of 30 amazing Parallax websites.

Besides their obvious visual appeal, I personally like them because you can load a lot of content and videos on them without making them look crowded. They also work well on mobile devices and tablets, allowing you to scroll and swipe.

I came across an awesome Parallax site for the Milwaukee Police Department. Most police department sites are nothing more than a webpage on the municipality’s website with basic contact information and a note from the chief. But MPD’s website goes way beyond that. This parallax site uses photography, graphics and strong copywriting to portray the police officers as everyday heroes who save people and fight crime. Good stuff!

EnMast member Adrian Gershom from Offshoot Design recently built his first Parallax site for McGrath Communications and predicts the demand for these types of sites will rise. “Parallax sites are really in response to our behaviors with mobile devices and tablets,” he told me. “I don’t think they are for everyone, but it’s definitely a tool that can make your brand more memorable.”

McGrath Communications was the perfect candidate for a Parallax site, Adrian said, because the Parallax format complements the business’ mission of teaching people to become more effective communicators. It allows the company to include a lot of important information but in a digestible format, with photos and videos interspersed throughout.

Like the MPD site, the McGrath Communications site has a “cool kid” quality about it. You think, “Who are these people? I need to know them!”

And really, isn’t that the kind of impression you want your website to convey? If so, maybe it’s time to go “parallax”.

What do you think of Parallax sites?

Bridget Ingebrigtsen

Bridget Ingebrigtsen owns Write On Command, a company that provides writing and editing services to businesses and not-for-profits. Bridget describes her six-year stint as Anchor Advisors' writer/editor as being "mutually beneficial" -- she helps Anchor Advisors keep their written projects on track and Anchor Advisors helps her keep her business on track. When she's not running her business, Bridget is running after her four children, two dogs and the latest in entertainment news. Connect with Bridget on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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