Just a few years ago, planning a website involved an above-the-fold mentally, an approach that involved cramming as much important content into the initial screenshot as possible.
Back then, designers started with the same general canvas size. The dimensions changed slightly over the years as larger and more sophisticated monitors came on the scene, but a universal display resolution was still at the core of our planning.
When smartphones and tablets entered the marketplace, they forced designers to consider a more fluid canvas. One technique, Responsive Web Design, ensured that a website would recognize the device being used — laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone — then resize itself accordingly for optimal viewing.
The popularity of smartphones and tablets also meant more users were connecting to websites in less traditional locations, relying on open WiFi access or on their carrier’s 3G or 4G networks, which often resulted in slower or spotty connections.
Slower Internet connections paired with the wide variety of screen sizes drove many designers to create fewer but longer site pages on which to roll out the site’s content.
We recommended the One-Page Site approach recently to a consultant and trainer who was shifting her offerings, as she strove to attract a higher-end audience. As she drafted her new content, she found herself stuck with what to say. She didn’t have resources or success stories to share with this new audience yet. Instead, she focused on her background, her experience and her approach without getting bogged down in detailed descriptions for offerings not yet established. The One-Page Site allowed her to create a digital resume that had room for expansion as her offerings were finessed.
The One-Page Site is often used by restaurants, with ever-changing menu options and in-house promotions, and event planners, who are trying to build interest in a one-time or one-time-a-year event. The One-Page Site strips away the distractions, allowing users to focus on the central calls-to-action such as “make reservations” and “view menu” for restaurants or “register now” and “share this event” for events. The One-Page Site is also usually more easily updated, especially for event sites when a strong before-and-after plan is in place.
A One-Page Site can easily showcase images over text. Creatives who need a portfolio site to display their work or stores that want their visitors to browse their products, should consider a One-Page Site so their audience can easily focus on their most important content.
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