We’re going to look back on this era of parallax scrolling web features with embarrassment — the kind you feel when you discover, say, an old picture of yourself in baggy jeans and a grungy plaid button-up. It’s not a bad thing; sometimes we have to go through these phases. But we shouldn’t mistake them for anything other than that: phases. Strange and fleeting fashions. Fads.
Vox Media has given us an opportunity to compare two treatments of the same subject, one in parallax plaid and the other in a classic white HTML-shirt:
- Polygon’s review of the PlayStation 4 goes full-parallax. I should note that, as parallax treatments go, this one is very restrained; but to my eye, it still overwhelms the content.
- The Verge’s review, by contrast, is thoughtfully constructed, but very much a normal web page.
As a reading (and thinking?) experience, I think the Verge’s low-key treatment is many times stronger. I’d be curious to know if you disagree.
I was just scrolling through this great NYT feature on the ramifications of long-term unemployment in Europe, exulting at the flat elegance of it. Make no mistake: this is a beautiful page, and it took hard work from a talented designer to make it so. But the result serves the text and images — not the other way around. This is the treatment we’ll carry forward into the future. This is the shirt we’ll keep.