Trends come and go, but sometimes, what starts off as a trend becomes so embedded in the way we do things, it goes mainstream. It becomes part of the furniture. Parallax has definitely moved from trend to mainstream.
For those of you who are curious as to what parallax is, I want you to think about retro gaming. When controlling 2D characters, typically from left to right, different background elements would motion past at different rates in order to create a sense of depth. The further away and object is, the slower it moves past. The closer it is to the foreground, the faster.
What parallax websites are so good at is creating an environment for great storytelling. By supporting text with imagery, animations and depth of field (amongst other possibilities), websites are now platforms that can deliver immersive, seductive and most importantly, interactive story-lines. Of course, these things are a marketers wet dream, so its no surprise to see this technique used appropriately in selling commercial products.
Eventually, parallax stories will move onto platforms like kindle to tell actual stories in a way that will make them more than simply digital versions of paperback books. But we’re not there yet. For a taster of whats to come, have a look at the famous NY times project, Snow Fall.
Here are a list of beautifully crafted commercial parallax websites: Enjoy!