With the rise of technologies, as well as broadband connections that allow for richer, more graphical website deigns, the one-page website has become one of the hottest design trends in all industries. Simply put, a one-page website design shows all content on one single page without the user requiring to navigate to a different URL. It represents the most “app-like” way to design websites, and is an exciting way to transcend the bounds of more traditional website design issues and guidelines.
One-page website designs certainly sound exciting, and most of them are exciting to use. Some, however, could use a little work in order to become more interactive, more engaging, and more representative of the one-page philosophy. If designers have a website is one that could use just a little extra push toward greatness, there are five simple ways to do just that.
1. Simplicity is the Name of the Game in One-Page Designs
Is a website design simple, or is it a complex web of distractions and diversions amid blocks of content? The key thing that one-page designers often struggle to balance is the desire to eliminate page refreshes, group content together into relevant blocks, and provide an exciting design that pulls users in. Often, they’ll try to show off with their one-page design skills and end up creating a web of distractions that harms usability more than it helps.
Keep things simple when creating a one-page design. Certainly focus plenty of attention on designs and graphics, but remember that the same basic rules of design still apply. Things like content, navigation, and hierarchy all matter when constricting things to just a single page of content.
2. Create a Visual Hierarchy of Messages and Other Content
A one-page design tends to be a bit more robust, and a bit longer, than websites with many pages and refreshes. Though it’s easy to create page-like groupings of content that are available with a single click, much like pages, this still leads to a longer overall design with more information per capita. In this type of environment, it’s important to turn down the noise and guide visitors toward what they most want to see.
Today, that’s done with a combination of imagery and photography. Don’t be afraid to assert the page’s hierarchy through the use of text blocks with large fonts, large images, or even engaging sliders. These are not distractions, but in fact are valuable ways to create sight lines, visual attractions, and a clear message about the products and services offered on the site.
3. Give the Site Some Slick Transitions
The great thing about one-page designs is that they’re still relatively rare, and they’re considered a real achievement for the designers who manage to pull them off. For those creative web designers, why not embellish a little bit and create an even more robust website that will impress even the most determined skeptics? The use of technologies like jQuery and other AJAX libraries provides for the creation of “transitions” between websites. Objects can move, swipe, and turn, with relative ease. And none of it requires Flash.
Give the website a smooth way to transition between blocks of content. Where competing websites have page refreshes, the one-page website can have fade-outs or fade-ins, rich graphical transformations of one page into another, and a whole host of other options. Turn the page into a presentation and enjoy the results.
4. Focus on a Simple and Intuitive Navigation
Employing a one-page design does not give web designers an excuse to eschew the simple navigation that is characteristic of more traditional designs. Even though the entire site might be on one page, it still needs to present blocks of content that might include blog entries, pricing, products and services, an “about us” page, and more. Don’t leave end users guessing when they want to find that information, especially since traditional, page-based URLs are no longer of use with this kind of design.
The best way to use a one-page website to build customer relations is to ensure that it differs only in the way it presents content. It should not differ when directing users to the content the way. Simple, clear, and well-designed navigation is as important as it has always been.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Hybrid
One-page websites aren’t for everyone. In some cases, they’re just not practical. In other cases, designers are still learning how their traditional design skills can translate to a one-page website. If the single-page phenomenon doesn’t yet seem appealing, feel free to use AJAX to create a “hybrid” website. Play around with elements and learn how they can be integrated with a click, rather than a refresh. Slowly bring the page into line with one-page ideals, and use it as a learning experience.
Plenty of Ways to Improve the User Experience
With a commitment to elegant design, simple navigation, and an adherence to some traditional web design rules and obligations, those seeking a one-page design for their site can succeed in big ways. White Chalk Road, an SEO firm believes a 1 page design can assist with user experience, however it can affect your SEO (Keyword Rankings), so make sure you consult with your Online Marketing firm prior to making the change.
Don’t be afraid to use the inherent advantages of these designs to show off, create a rich experience, or introduce users to something new. With a well-crafted design, they’ll easily slip into expert usage of the new website.
About the Author
This article is written by Luke Edwards who is an experienced web designer, enjoys writing about the latest trends in this ever-changing environment.