As technology for displaying information evolves, designers continue to come up with ways to immerse their viewers in fresh and exciting experiences. Single page design has been around for a few years, but over the past year it seems to have become the trendy thing to do. So what’s the draw? In a way, a single page website is all about the user experience. Your visitors interact with a simple, intuitive design which propels them toward a single, ultimate goal or call to action.
As a designer I find immense joy in scrolling through a one page website because it provides a unique and focused experience if it is well designed. It is as if the designer is reading my mind, anticipating what I want to see next.
Think of it this way… When you come to the homepage of a website what is the natural thing to do? You skim the page by scrolling down. If you are like me, you like the way it feels to scroll up and down the page, especially when the designer has worked hard to add to the scrolling experience with cool effects, smooth scrolling and parallax scrolling (ex: Minutta, sony).
One page websites are not for everyone
The limits on how much information you put on one page make SEO optimization tricky. There isn’t a lot of room for the rich detail that Google loves. Companies with broad product lines or multiple services probably won’t find this type of site beneficial.
However, there are benefits to this type of design for small businesses with a singular focus, websites for special events or sites built around one new product. Since single page websites promote simple and concise content, you will usually experience better conversion rates, potentially lower costs for the client and less action from the viewer.
One page websites take lots of planning
If your content can be told in a story which compels visitors to act, then a one page website creates a simpler experience for the user with less chance they will get lost on a page they never meant to land on. While the design looks simple, there is a lot of upfront planning required to create the streamlined user experience. To get started you need to work hard on your information architecture. It is critical for the information to be organized in a logical manner that anticipates what a visitor’s next question will be.
Check out onepagelove.com for examples of pageless design. One last tip, if you do decide to go with a one page site, don’t make your viewers scroll for hours to reach the call to action because that really defeats the purpose of single page websites.