Blog 3

Parallax Scrolling

Frederick et al. (2015) define parallax as a scrolling technique that creates an illusion of depth on a website. Frederick (2013) argues parallax scrolling significantly improves the enjoyability of a website. As the positive user experience on a company’s website can make the user transfer the positive feelings towards a company it is a significant advantage. A good example of a company using parallax on their website is Costa Coffee (2017) (figure 1). This site explains the whole Costa business in a very enjoyable way which makes the user more likely to visit their shop next time they see it.

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Figure 1 Good parallax example

Source: Costa Coffee (2017)

However, as Thomas (2014) argues an issue with parallax websites are their loading times. As they incorporate all content on one page, they take very long to load compared to non-parallax internet sites. Cornish and Dukette (2009) indicate that human attention span is just 8 seconds. For a site, it means that if it takes more than 8 seconds to load almost no one is going to see it.

An example of very long loading parallax website is Flash vs HTML5 which takes approximately 15 seconds to load (figure 2).

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Figure 2 Bad parallax example

Source: Waste creative (2017)

 

Accessibility options

Accessibility options are usually a special menu or page where the user can change different features of a website to suit their needs. This might include text size, colour and background colour. Accessibility is not only required by law (Great Britain, 2010) but also profitable for a company (W3C, 2012). Accessibility options are one of the ways to ensure accessibility of a website. An excellent accessibility menu can be seen on BBC’s website (figure 3). It has many different options and also helps users who are unsure of what they should change.

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Figure 3 BBC accessibility menu

Source: BBC (2014)

Possible issue with accessibility options according to Tang et al. (2011) might be that a person that needs this feature may have problems finding it on the site. It is the case for the website visible in figure 4. Accessibility options are placed at the very bottom of the site and have small text size which makes them very hard to find especially for a person that needs them.

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Figure 4 Bad accessibility options example

 

Video

It is a series of images played fast enough to imitate movement (Oxford University Press, 2017). Shelly and Campbell (2011) argue that usage of videos can make a website more enjoyable for the user. As explained above it is crucial for a website to be enjoyable. An example of an internet site that uses video in a right way can be seen in figure 5. Youtube is a very successful site, and most of its content is video.

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Figure 5 Positive video example

Source: YouTube (2017)

A possible misuse of this feature is an abuse of autoplay attribute present in HTML5 which makes the video play automatically, possibly, without user’s knowledge or consent. As Patricios (2009) points out, it is not only irritating for most of the users, but for some of them which use screen readers, it may render a site unusable.

 

References

BBC (2014) My Web My Way (online)
Available from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility/>

(Accessed 29th January 2017)

 

Cornish, D. and Dukette, D. (2009) The Essential 20: Twenty Components of an Excellent Health Care Team, Pittsburgh, U.S.A., RoseDog Books.

 

Costa Coffee (2017) Costa Coffee Experience (online).

Available from <http://www.costa.co.uk/experience/>

(Accessed 25th January 2017)

 

Frederick, D. M. (2013) The Effects Of Parallax Scrolling On User Experience And Preference In Web Design, Department of Computer Graphics Technology Degree Theses, 18th April.

 

Frederick, D., Mohler, J., Vorvoreanu, M. and Glotzbach, R. (2015) The Effects of Parallax Scrolling on User Experience in Web Design, Journal of Usability Studies, 10 (2), pp.87-95.

 

Oxford University Press (2017) video – definition of video in English (online).

Available from <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/video>

(Accessed 29th January 2017)

 

Patricios, E. (2009) Autoplay is bad for all users (online).

Available from <http://www.punkchip.com/autoplay-is-bad-for-all-users/>

(Accessed 29th January 2017)

 

Shelly, G. and Campbell, J. (2011) Web Design: Introductory, Boston, Cengage Learning.

 

Tang, L., Fourney, D. and Carter, J. (2011) Experiencing Accessibility Issues and Options, Communications in Computer and Information Science, 173 (5), pp. 399-403.

 

Thomas, J.K. (2014) Parallax Scrolling: Attention Getter or Headache? (online).

Available from <http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2014/11/parallax-scrolling-attention-getter-or-headache.php>

(Accessed 25th January 2017)

 

United Kingdom (2010) Equality Act 2010 : Chapter 15, London, The Stationery Office.

 

Waste Creative (2017) Flash vs HTML5 (online).

Available from <http://flashvhtml.com/>

(Accessed 25th January 2017)

 

W3C (2012) Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization (online). Available from <https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/Overview>

(Accessed 29th January 2017)

 

Youtube (2017) Homepage (online).

Available from <https://www.youtube.co.uk/>

(Accessed 29th January 2017)

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