When I read the article Bob posted below, I noticed that many of the examples of quality sites are of the single-page parallax scrolling variety. I have never liked this type of site, but the article spurred me to figure out exactly why. So here are my reasons:
- I find them disorienting. The visual scrolling up and down is distracting to me. The mental model I have for information on a website is that it is compartmentalized and discrete. When I click the third link in a navigation, I don’t expect to have to be whizzed past the content in the second page. Different content, different page. I should be able to go straight there.
- Don’t distract me with flashy moving pictures that don’t communicate anything. I’m an engineer and tend toward the practical. I like seeing images that contribute to or are part of the story. I don’t mind a small image that just makes the content flow better or provides a small point of visual interest. But please don’t fill the page with giant images while I am trying to read your copy. It’s hard enough to read as it is. And even worse, some of these sites are using lots of moving images.
- They aren’t any more effective than non-parallax scrolling multi-page websites, and some subset of people (like me) can actually experience motion sickness from them: See “Do Readers Really Prefer Parallax Web Design?” . Why would you induce nausea in even a small percentage of your visitors when it doesn’t help any of them?
The only time I have seen these types of sites being effective is when they are used to tell a linear, narrative story: See Jess and Russ, and of course Snow Fall. I think they work for this because they are linear — you tend to read them from top to bottom and not jump around. In both of these examples the imagery actually contributes to the telling of the story.
Let me know what you think — if you have an example of a great single-page informational site that you think will change my mind, let me know.