What is this Parallax? Well to put it lightly Parallax is a scrolling technique used in computer science respectively in web development where the background scrolls faster than the foreground. This creates a 2d illusion with some kind of immersion.
We began implementing the Parallax scrolling in our projects thinking we will bring more fluidity to the web. That is true in some cases but it’s not always the same. For example if I might enable smooth scrolling on a webpage that will look fluid and immersive to me that I use a PC, for some mac users that use magic mouses and OSX touch gestures this will be a nightmare, so the point is that smooth scrolling is good for some but not for all aspects of a UX.
Why is Parallax bad
Simply because it does a “scroll hijack”. Anything that alters my default browsing experience and basic input functioning is a big no-no in my book. Even apple did this for marketing purposes just to appear “innovative”. The truth is that this sucks and it sucks big time!
There is a time and space for anything, that is what I think of this. If I want to see a movie, I will open VLC or something, and if I want to see a powerpoint presentation, well I might go to a CS high-school class. A webpage is a webpage, the content is what interests me and a horde of other people on the internet, not the fact that you ‘immerse’ me inside a 2D Mario & Luigi style world.
Here is how I see it. If your design is interfering with an expecting behavior (like scrolling your mouse), then you are doing stuff wrong. When I scroll my mouse wheel I expect to scroll the page not something to animate or something to move from left to right, I just expect to scroll the page.
Let’s assume that in our modern times you might want your site to be let’s say responsive ready. How would “Parallax scrolling” behave on a already smooth scrolling device like a mobile phone? Ill tell you, it will act and look like shit.
People that use it
Every other template, snippet, wordpress theme etc on themeforest. This tricks the user with bells and whistles, push the bar to high for developers that do not like this and eventually set a nice stupid trend that will alter basic UX functions for webpages.
Here are some cool examples of “scroll hijacking”: