1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Jan. 31, 2007
The Design Element
The horizontal scrolling site is somewhat of a strange little beast. With out digging into samples I know that my instinct is to think it is just an attempt to find someway to be unique. Almost annoyingly. But, after you look at a few samples you can see how it can actually be an interesting interface. In fact, it is almost more natural to scroll horizontally then it is to do so vertically. Imagine if the real world worked like the web. Going to an art gallery would require a very strange building that allowed the art to pass you by vertically, or an enormous stair case so you climb up and down to view the art. Ok, so that is kind of a silly point. But look at a few samples and you will see how natural it actually feels.
is a great example of how fluid and pleasant a side scrolling site can be. Photography is a topic which strangely seems to fit this style well. Check out the portfolio of
Meghan Petersen Photography. Perhaps it is the mostly vertical nature of the shots, but they feel like such a nice solid block of photos; very impressive indeed. Somehow I think it would really loose much of it's presentation power if it were done vertically.