The trend for 'parallax' or 'scrolljacking' web sites has long had me grumbling about their large page weight, slow rendering times and general accessibility black spots, but some are better than others. That got me thinking, do they ever do a good job?
Today, I saw an article from Creative Bloq heralding a recent example of these kind of sites as "a quirky masterpiece". They start their article by commenting:
"Parallax scrolling may be on the way to becoming a web design cliche..."
Er, yep. Somewhat!
The article actually looks at some of the technical approaches Shout Digital took in order to keep the page weight down to just 7.7MB (Big for a web page, but low for a typical single page, parallax site)
The rest of that quote hits home for me though:
"...but as long as agencies keep putting it to imaginative and aesthetically pleasing uses, there's surely life in the old dog yet."
This reminds me of one of the reasons that I wanted to join a big agency like R/GA in the first place - To add a voice to those fighting for responsible executions on sites which often have large audiences and sometimes start (or at least propagate) web design and development trends. We need to be mindful of type of sites we build. Are they the best solution? The most responsible? It was good to see that Shout Digital were making efforts to bring the weight of the page down.
You sound like a broken record, Phil
I'm not going to embark on one of my usual rants about bloated web pages which require loading screens and gobble your mobile data allowance, because I've done it so many times before. But as I went to look at the site Creative Bloq was referring to, I noticed something:
I didn't read, or really even notice, any of the content.
It might be that this was because I was squinting through the judgmental eyes of a web purist, but I don't think so. I think that the reality is that this style of site is rarely a good choice for conveying content. Perhaps when people encounter a site which has all kinds of whizzy interaction and baubles, they play with those ahead of reading the content on the site.
This example was, apparently a site for Cadillac. I know this because it said so on the Creative Bloq article. Otherwise, I'm afraid that this detail passed me by.
And so, I'm putting the question out there:
Did you notice what all those parallax sites you've seen recently said?
I'm curious to hear, regardless of technical implementation or page performance, how good people think examples of this kind of site are at getting their message across.
Any observations? Just reply to this tweet on twitter.