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les défricheurs agency
  • Writer's pictureAdrien da Cunha Belves

More than horizontal, verticalism drives me: long live scrollytelling!

Updated: 4 days ago

You've probably noticed a massive shift in the way people consume content. Gone are the classic websites with text and images, while engaging videos are now ubiquitous. We live in the age of TikTok and YouTube, where seconds are all it takes to captivate with intriguing visuals and storytelling.


Indeed, a TikTok report from 2024 revealed that ads using curiosity-inducing storytelling techniques saw their viewing times increase by 1.4 times.


The same principle applies to web design. People want to consume engaging content, and scrollytelling is the latest way to tell stories with your web design and optimize your creative process. Let's take a look at some scrollytelling tools, strategies and examples to stay on top of one of the most popular trends in web design today. And when you're ready to tell your next client's story, discover Wix Studio's design capabilities for doing it creatively.


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What is scrollytelling?


Scrollytelling is a visual storytelling technique that uses interactive elements on a web page to tell a story. As a web designer, you present information in such a way that users experience the story by scrolling down the page. The New York Times introduced scrollytelling to journalism with "Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek", which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. But this concept of digital storytelling isn't limited to online journalism, with every brand having its own story to share.


How does scrollytelling work?


Scrollytelling is similar to comic strips, where a visual story is divided into different sections and scenes. Instead of just text and images, scrollytelling includes web animations, interactive elements and background videos. As the user scrolls, the web page reveals new content, advances the story and conveys information in an engaging way.


Scrollytelling components


As with creating a story, the components of scrollytelling depend on your imagination. You can transport readers to a 2D screen with infographics, open the doors to your 3D cinema by adding animations, or offer a cinematic experience via interactive graphics, immersive audio and thematic sliders. Here are the typical scrollytelling components:


  • Infographics: Use graphics, text and data for data visualization to convey messages and ideas effectively.

  • 3D graphics: Add depth and realism to visuals by creating three-dimensional representations of scenes for a more immersive experience.

  • Interactive scrolling (vertical and horizontal): Allow readers to explore content by scrolling vertically or horizontally, encouraging interaction and providing an intuitive way to consume content.

  • Parallax scrolling: Create depth and a sense of movement by moving different layers of the web page at different speeds to add a dynamic element to your story.

  • Text animations: Add text effects to highlight important information, guide user attention and enhance the overall website experience.

  • Dynamic pages: Personalize the user experience by adding transitions to change the content and layout of web pages in response to interactions.

  • Audio elements: Make your brand more memorable and deliver an engaging experience by adding audio elements, such as narration, background music or sound effects to accompany text or call-to-action (CTA) buttons.


Advantages of scrollytelling in web design


Scrollytelling can be used to create captivating, immersive web experiences that offer several benefits for customers and site visitors:


  • Customers remember the brand: By telling your story in an engaging way, you can stay in customers' minds and achieve better results with your landing page.

  • Customers enjoy a personalized experience: By offering interactive elements such as infographics, graphics and animations that respond to user actions, you personalize each visitor's experience.

  • Customers stay until the end: Scrollytelling offers a captivating experience that keeps people engaged right to the end. Visitors actively explore your website, consume your content and understand what your brand has to offer.


How to use scrollytelling in web content


Create engaging interactive experiences with a few best practices:


  • Brainstorm a compelling story: Start with a narrative that will resonate with your audience.

  • Plan your structure: Divide your story into sections or scenes triggered by the user's scrolling actions.

  • Choose multimedia elements: Select images, videos, animations, infographics or audio clips to add to your responsive template to complete your story.

  • Add interactive features: Integrate parallax effects, scroll-triggered animations and other features that respond to user actions.

  • Optimize performance: Ensure a smooth scrollytelling experience on different devices by optimizing page loading speed.


6 best examples of scrollytelling for inspiration


01. A call to emotion


The best stories make you feel something. This scrollytelling story begins with animals appearing sad. As you scroll down, you see how humanity affects animals: smoke coming out of chimneys, oceans littered with garbage and animal horns symbolizing the threat of hunting.


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02. A modern approach to a classic


Everyone knows Lewis Carroll's classic book "Alice in Wonderland". The web designers of this example of scrollytelling have modernized it in a surprisingly interactive way. The entire site is responsive to user cursor movements.


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03. An engaged portfolio


Maya Lynne Adar, a multidisciplinary graphic designer, shows how scrollytelling can be applied to a portfolio site. Rather than showing a multitude of projects, Maya activated hover animations to highlight each project individually.


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04. A captivating brand story


BLUXSTUDIO is an excellent example of the application of scrollytelling to a brand site. It uses scrollytelling elements such as parallax scrolling, scroll-triggered animations and 3D graphics.


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05. A hero's journey


The Boathouse uses scrollytelling for its brand site, presenting its autobiography. As you scroll down, you'll discover everything The Boathouse has accomplished, the processes behind it and the expected results.


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06. A deep dive into the process


Eliran Vahdi uses scrollytelling to illustrate his creative process. The story begins with an astronaut disappearing into the clouds and, as you scroll, you follow Eliran's journey, from his passion for space to the amount of coffee consumed while designing his website.


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