One-pagers will be the hit of the 2006!

Oh, well – at least if we don’t count pop-ups, downloadable .PDFs and such… They came in big style this year, and I feel they are going to make their mark in the next season, too.

That cool AJAX thingy ruined everything

The border between pure one-pagers and ones with some form of an AJAX magic is somewhat blurry, but even the site with such feature is contextually much more compact than, say, five-pager – the visitor’s focus stays at this very same page all the time. No need to explore (i.e. to click around forth and back), no need to wonder what else there could be.

Literally, a one-pager is a web site with a single HTML file, but contextually – it’s a one page, where it all happens – no matter if there’s image gallery in Flash, or show/hide portions of the content – a visitor is virtually on the same page. Related to later, here’s an article which explains usability issues of remote scripting – XMLHttpRequest Usability Guidelines.

No content. What to do?

When you’re low on the content provided by the client, plus the copywriter narrows it all down to a few sound, but short sentences, the information designer has no option, than to provide the whole content on one page.

On one-pagers, the content elements/units should be carefully tailored and featured in a way to gently lead the eye toward the intended action – most of the time, it’s making the first contact, downloading a file or purchasing a product.

How to approach?

Speaking of careful tailoring, creating the right balance between more important and less important content is what you should be careful about. More than anywhere else, the thin line between success and the failure of the site is easy to cross. And I’m not talking about overused large typo phenomenon. Others do.

Generally, one should seek for the inspiration in traditional, but proven methods. Especially consider print and TV advertising.

Basically, it’s all about get-in–score–get-out. If you have nothing important to say, in a way of information presented as a pure text, make an impression and make it easy for a visitor to fulfill the goals for the site, whatever that is. Ya know that ole saying – less is more


Apart from playing a role of an online flyer for a small business, one time saler or a hit product promo, one-pagers are often used as a new media portfolios, where the accent is on the featured projects with short and straight-forward descriptions. Since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, one might consider this option, too.

Here are a few examples:

A fine example of what could have been a one-pager is Emotions by Mike. With a smart remote scripting for the portfolio, it all could have been presented on a single page (Ed: I’m not saying it’d be better web site – it’s just a suitable example for this article… plus a nice portfolio to look at).

So… how do you feel about this concept in general?


Since I wrote the article, a few very nice examples came to my mind. Here they are:

Also feel free to add your examples in the comments.

Marko Dugonjić is a designer specialized in user experience design, web typography and web standards. He runs a nanoscale user interface studio Creative Nights and organizes FFWD.PRO, a micro-conference and workshops for web professionals.

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