What is Parallax Effect: 4 Things You Need to Know

What is Parallax Effect: 4 Things You Need to Know

Ashwin Krishnakumar
Ashwin Krishnakumar

Chief Technology Officer, Airtory

Published on: 02 Jan 2022

Reading time: 4 minutes

Our generation has witnessed a great many changes in technology and the innovations that take place around us. We currently live in a time when the experience of browsing the internet is constantly improving each day with the help of newer and better web development techniques. When the whole world is online, fighting for consumer attention means coming up with new ways to display your digital ads in non-intrusive ways.

One of the techniques that have recently caught the attention of both marketers as well as users and have made it big in the past few years is the parallax effect. It is one of the most popular and commonly used design techniques in digital marketing that are increasingly being used across the digital landscape. The parallax effect allows marketers to increase conversions, boost engagement and bring in more traffic to their websites.

What is the Parallax Effect?

By now you must be wondering about what the parallax effect is.

Parallax basically refers to a digital experience that uses an immersive display technique involving a layered parallax animation that not only helps grab the user’s attention but also does so in an interesting way that doesn’t feel at all intrusive. The parallax effect creates a perception that different layers of the image used in the display have varying depths and it takes the viewer scrolling through a page to reveal the full ad. 

How It Works

One of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of the parallax effect is that it is based on a very simple idea and works very well for display advertising. Parallax is based on an optical illusion that the human eye perceives objects that are close to us as larger than things farther away and the fact that we perceive distant objects as if they were moving slower as compared to objects that are closer.

Using the parallax effect for display advertising involves multiple layers of images that are placed in the background, which moves slower as compared to the foreground as the user scrolls, creating a 3D animation effect for your ad. All layers may move at varying speeds, which adds depth to your display and helps the ad stand out.

Things to Consider when using Parallax Effect 

  1. Choosing Background Images

Choosing the right image for your parallax effect advertisement is one of the most important things you need to do to create a successful ad. The images for each layer of the background sections need to be selected carefully when using the image parallax effect. They should be relevant to the ad and in sync with your brand, should be of high quality, and preferably unique to give your ad a creative edge.

Alternatively, if you wish to display a header or other content on top of the background, using a block color or images with subtle patterns is more likely to make it readable and yield a distinctive appearance, without distracting the users from the content.

  1. Accessibility

While the Parallax effect can leave your audience with a strong impression, certain parallax effect examples show that it can present some accessibility challenges. These include difficulty in reading, browser or device compatibility issues with respect to motion, different colors/contrast of images, and having too much information on the screen due to the presence of multiple layers. The way to steer clear of all such accessibility issues is by being extra careful when designing display ads that employ the Parallax effect, and by ensuring that all the elements match the brand’s image.

  1. Improved Audience Engagement

Since the whole idea of integrating the parallax effect into your advertising strategy is based on improving the aesthetics of the ads, the chances of retaining audiences increase. The unique design and appearance more often than not pique the user’s attention and increase the total time they spend on your ad. This suggests that users actually find the content interesting and are more likely to interact with your ad. Using the parallax effect in display advertising also does a lot for brand recall. If users find your ad interesting, they are more likely to look at your message and remember it for a longer time as compared to conventional display ad formats.

  1. Parallax on Mobile

One thing that advertisers need to factor in when using parallax for mobiles is that smartphones do not have scrolling features and instead utilize gestures (swipe navigation), the speed of which can vary from user to user. This may result in the improper rendering of the parallax effects. To overcome such issues, advertisers need to ensure that the mobile parallax effects they choose are compatible with swipe navigation when they optimize their campaigns or websites/web pages for mobile usage, so they can provide their audience unencumbered parallax ad experiences. 

Marketers can consider using parallax advertising to make a powerful and immediate impact to direct the course of users’ attention on different websites to your brand and boost site traffic and conversion rates. Keep the users engaged, offer realistic and captivating displays, and most importantly, while using Parallax, remember to keep it simple.

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