Two Trends in Web Design

Infinite and Parallax Scrolling…

Over the past couple of months we’ve looked a lot at responsive web design and the benefits it can bring to your website.  It now seems an apt time to touch on two more emerging trends in web design right now: parallax scrolling and infinite scrolling.

Infinite scrolling

Since the days of the first browser-based websites, scrolling has been an integral part of web design, allowing webmasters to fit more information on a single page than would fit on the screen. But until recently it’s been a limited affair, with the user scrolling a set distance before reaching the bottom of the page. Infinite scrolling removes the bottom of the page, allowing the user to keep scrolling for more and more content.

While it may not be the right choice for all websites, for sites with a lot of visual content to display it can add a new dimension to the user experience. Major websites like Facebook and Pinterest are already using infinite scrolling to provide users with a continuous and seamless experience.

If you’ve got a lot of images or a large volume of unconnected user generated content, infinite scrolling could be your new best friend. It’s worth remembering though that it’s not ideal for some types of sites, such as e-commerce stores where infinite scrolling would make finding specific products a difficult task.

Parallax scrolling

Parallax scrolling might seem like a new development but it has in fact been used in video games since the eighties. It uses multiple layers to create the illusion of depth or movement, as with games like Sonic the Hedgehog where the foreground moved past faster than the background.

In web design parallax scrolling allows designers to get really creative and add an element of animation to a website. Essentially, the background layer of the page moves more slowly than the foreground, creating depth. It can be particularly useful for storytelling, such as getting across your brand story, or demonstrating key concepts and ideas in a visual way.

Once again though, it’s certainly not the right choice for all websites, and you may need to create a separate mobile website as parallax scrolling won’t work on all devices.