I just couldn’t resist the alliteration …
First, if you don’t know what parallax design is – aka parallax scrolling – take a look at this site. It’s fantastically well done and a great example of parallax scrolling.
It’s attention-getting visually and interactive in a way that is much more engaging than the point, click and drag interactions we’ve become accustomed to.
But is it as good from a content marketing / marketing effectiveness standpoint as it is from a visual standpoint?
On the positive side, it’s visually engaging, as we’ve said. (Or it can be when well done. There are some parallax disasters out there, too.) And it’s important to remember that you can’t divorce visual appeal from marketing effectiveness. Good design is a key differentiator. Bad design keeps people away in droves. And it’s engaging in a way that really increases it’s share-ability. It’s going to perform well if you back it up with a strong social media effort.
On the negative side, I’d be leery building an entire corporate site in this style if for no other reason than the single URL. That really limits your SEO potential and eliminates the ability to give someone a direct link to a particular section of the content. This is a technique tailored more for mini-sites or sites devoted to a single issue, as in the Every Last Drop example. I could also see it working well for lightweight training applications. Much more engaging than click-click-click-quiz.
There are also negatives for your mobile users, so you need to decide carefully whether parallax design is a good choice. As long as it retains its novelty factor – and assuming your content works well within the form – it’s worth considering, especially as a piece of a broader strategy that includes more traditional presentations to better serve SEO purposes and mobile users.