The definition of a single-page site is quite straightforward; it’s a web site that uses just one HTML page. When all website content is placed on one page, click on a navigation link forwards users to an HTML anchor on this single page.
When to use a single-page Site
One-page sites are responsive and provide better mobile UX, but they are not SEO-friendly. You won’t be able to index several webpages with various keywords and meta descriptions, which will negatively impact organic traffic performance and your website’s online visibility.
Single-page site design brings both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, this website type gives UI/UX designers independence in terms of layouts and visual effects. But on the other hand, many users may not be impressed with single-page design alternatives because of complicated navigation they aren’t accustomed to.
The listing of single-page website pros and cons can be continued; the thing is, business owners should outline their long-term objectives and predict their target audience’s expectations before opting for a one-page web design website.
A single-page Layout can be used for
- Personal websites
- Resume pages
- One-time events
- Landing pages
- Brochure websites
- Single-product websites
- Best design practices for single-page sites
- Break text into sections
If you’ve decided to go for a single-page site, probably you don’t have a lot of text to display; differently, you’d go to get a multi-page option. But, having a small amount of textual content doesn’t automatically prevent you from overwhelming users with advice. You still have to come up with clear and easy-to-follow visual arrangement. Lead your visitors throughout the story by dividing your content into segments by means of different header styles, background colors, overlays, etc. Reinforce well written texts with nicely crafted visual effects to ensure that your site visitors don’t stop scrolling until there’s nowhere to scroll.
Function on a visual hierarchy
We have already covered ways to effectively arrange UI content in one of our previous articles. To recap, among visual hierarchy tools used for web design are size, colour, contrast, proximity, and repetition.
It is generally thought that the F-pattern is more applicable to a great deal of textual content, while the Z-pattern suits pages that are not so heavily focused on copy. Since a single-page website comprises numerous sections, try to use both of these patterns for different sections to be able to diversify the website structure. But do not overdo it with patterns; allow the components on your webpage breathe. With negative space, you are ready to draw people’s attention to the elements that ought to be noticeable.
The thing about single-page visual hierarchy is that it should be concise yet encouraging. Think twice before you go for one or another page structure and remember that there is just one page to scroll.
Based on your site nature and conversion target, or lack thereof, you may or may not benefit from parallax scrolling. Here’s a list of factors you should consider before employing parallax into a one-page website:
Image layers and cartoons slow down page loading. Are your site visitors patient enough to wait until the webpage is loaded or would they rather leave it and look for better options?
Many people don’t find websites with parallax effect user-friendly. Avoid applying this design trend to selling and informative pages. Particularly if you’re expecting repeat traffic or intention to convert.
Parallax isn’t generally suggested for mobile sites. Needless to say, developers can perform tricks with it or simply turn it off on mobile devices but the question is if you really should make this effort.
You may ask why parallax remains among our best practices despite this list of disadvantages. Well, because you may still benefit from this design technique should you use it carefully. And to accomplish this, you really should know your audience. If you are designing a website for individuals who aren’t used to elaborate designs, you’d better stay away from parallax. However, it can be a great solution for portfolios, company sites, and some landing pages.
Add alternative navigation
Single-page websites are all about scrolling and sometimes about endless scrolling, making people feel on your page as though they’re in the middle of nowhere. If your website has a complex structure and contains a whole bunch of blocks, you should think of alternative navigation. Let people quickly jump to the section they need with sticky menus: make them horizontal, vertical, slightly transparent, or replace them with icons. Use anchor links and a back-to-top button to maintain the UX intuitive and pleasant.
Include a call to action
Single-page websites are perfect for calls to action. Because of their structure, bookmarking sites are more focused than with multi-page ones. If the website was originally created for one specific purpose (contact form entry, mobile app download or email signup), you need to build your design around it. Make the call to act noticeable in colour and form and encourage users to perform the desired action.
Single-page site design heavily depends on business goals and target audiences. And before you go for any design practice, you need to find out who’s coming to your website and why.