Unit 11: Intro to Photoshop
Unit 12: Design Accessibility
Unit 13: Product Design Thinking
Unit 14: User Experience Design
Unit 16: Introduction to Design Portfolios
Unit 17: Portfolio Development
Unit 18: Personal Branding
Unit 19: Case Studies
Unit 20: Portfolio Website Design
Unit 21: Career Coaching
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Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling is a very popular feature found on modern digital products these days. Most websites are now being built as single-page applications, where users scroll to multiple views, with parallax effects creating interesting feelings of depth. The concept of parallax scrolling (and its inherent problem) is that the foreground and background move at a different speed. With striking background images that reveal themselves at specific points in the navigation, and complex movement that adds richness to the interface, authors think they can create a smoother, more engaging experience for everyone.

But did you know that as many as 35% of people over the age of 40 are likely to feel nauseous when looking at websites that rely on parallax scrolling? What good is creating rich interactions to showcase your product, if a third of your users over the age of 40 are potentially going to feel physically sick experiencing it because they’ve developed some kind of a vestibular disorder?

From an accessibility standpoint, the idea isn’t to discourage you from ever using parallax scrolling. The trend is increasingly popular and as such, it’s not going away anytime soon. But once you realize how movement can affect web use, then you might be tempted to adapt your design to prevent your users from feeling physically sick as they browse your products.

For example, you might decide to provide a mechanism at the top of your page, so users who have vestibular disorders can disable the scrolling and movement, and just enjoy your content in a static, linear way if it floats their boat. You may even go a step further, and design a warning, so people have a chance to opt-out of the parallax effect as they first load the page. Chances are, even people who aren’t subject to motion sickness will appreciate the option.

You may also want to avoid horizontal scrolling when using parallax effects. Horizontal scrolling on a website is a surprise to most users and not always a pleasant one. As a general rule of thumb, always think carefully about surprising movements on the screen: they tend to make people with balance problems loose direction and the symptoms ensue.

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