In December 2012, The New York Times released “Snow Fall”, a long multimedia story about an avalanche in Washington state. The package, which won a Pulitzer, became far more famous for its digital structure than for its content; it introduced a huge number of web users to the concept of parallax scrolling, a technique in which different nested elements of a web page move at different rates, creating the illusion of animation.
The past year and change have seen a massive proliferation in the use of parallax scrolling—jokingly just “snowfall”—on news and news-ish websites. The technique (which is not without detractors) is synonymous with websites presumed to have big budgets and standing developer armies.
But now, anyone can use it. With Parade, a web app in early beta, you can upload photos and text, which are automatically presented in full screen, and given a pinch of “snowfall” magic. We made a rudimentary one about a coffee break at BuzzFeed. See how the text and image scroll at different speeds?
The Parade site is full of significantly more thoughtful examples. So rejoice! The power of advanced web design techniques now rests in the calloused hands of the digiproletariat!