Is parallax scrolling the biggest trend in Web design right now, or a fad that’s already fading?

The answer, a cursory look at the dozens of posts written on the topic would suggest, is that there’s room for those who implement the design technique thoughtfully to succeed.

Homes.com claims to be the first real estate industry website to implement parallax design, unveiling a new home page today that it says will give the site’s 12.5 million monthly visitors “a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Parallax scrolling is a design technique that creates visual interest — and an illusion of depth — by making background images move more slowly than foreground images as the user scrolls through them. The technique can be used to attract the eye to a “call to action” like “Find a local real estate professional.”

As users scroll down the Homes.com home page, a moving hand drops keys into a “Find a Professional” query box. An animated phone tips users off to the availability of a mobile app. A hand grasping a sheet of paint samples hovers behind the “Homes.com idea gallery.” Navigation buttons follow users as they scroll.

Local agents are also featured prominently on the home page, based on the user’s local area or recent searches.

“Creating a captivating user experience that connects consumers with real estate professionals and all of our home-related resources was the first priority in designing our new home page,” said Brock MacLean, Homes.com’s executive vice president, in a statement.

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