With the increased excitement surrounding AJAX and all the associated frameworks, jQuery, mootools etc.., the web has become a great place to live. Just discovered over at CSSRemix, Discover Tennessee Trails showcases one of the newer applications of jQuery, Parallax Effect. This allows a background image, or anything else for that matter, to move at a different pace than the web page . The differences in tempo of motion creates a wonderful illusion of depth to the site.
Here are some other examples of this Parallax Effect in action:
The ability to create dynamic portions of a website is crucial in providing an end user experience that is second to none. jQuery, and the like (mootools, rico, scriptaculous), makes it all the more simpler.
One powerful subset of a jQuery founded website are plug-ins. Simple pieces of open source code, developed by the community, that ease development time 100 fold. Case in point: the cycle plug-in.
The cycle plug-in is used to create slideshows of all kinds. A tutorial for how to do this can be found here, so I will refrain from recreating it. Follow the easy to navigate instruction set, and within 20 minutes, you can create a basic slideshow. Within 30 minutes and a much more dynamic and custom slideshow can also be created.
I will concede however, that there is such a thing as too much asynchronous activity. I prefer to look at a project and ask myself two questions: will this enhance the end user’s experience or will it get in the way and be a distraction? and the second: Do I really need to use jQuery for this?