Monday, October 20, 2014
If we take a moment to sit back and analyze the evolution of the internet and the long list of changes it has undergone, it just reveals one clear piece of information to us – The manner in which information or content is displayed and consumed by users has vastly improved with each cycle of change. Even today, the internet is currently undergoing a cycle of change and is headed towards new and innovative forms of design which are aimed at allowing information to reach users quickly without compromising the visual appeal. What’s pushing this change is what I’d like to term ‘Pageless Web Design’. This latest form of design has the potential to make a profound and tangible impact in the way in which we use websites and dig data from them.
Prominent and leading web developers and designers regard pageless web design as a natural progression with respect to how websites are being designed. Taking a cue from its name, one can easily guess that pageless web design most likely deals with just a single webpage where all the relevant content is hosted for the user to see in a story-like format. This is a pretty slick idea for users who are impatient, grumpy and just don’t have much time to click around. I call these users ‘one stop’. Why? They simply want information on their landing page and if they don’t get it there, they’re taking a hike. If you’ve had encounters with a pageless web design, you would have gotten friendly with it’s capacity to allow continuous scrolling. This allow visitors to navigate through the entire page and find what they are looking for. Since website users have been dealt with treacherously, they’re now able to break even with the help of pageless web design. This means that websites can now break free (no more slavery) from the limitations that hampered their progress and venture into new pastures that emphasizes flat, elegant and interactive design.
Who Should Use Pageless Web Design?
Web designers and web developers should be careful enough to note that pageless web design is not an innovation for all kinds of websites. For example: A website such as CNET would not be crazy enough to offer their visitors a pageless web. Infact, if that was the case they’d have none. On the other hand, it only comes in handy when trying to fulfill certain pre-defined requirements. To discover if your website can take advantage of the benefits of pageless web design, you need to confirm if it matches any of the following criteria described below. If you find that any of the criteria matches your website’s needs, you can safely go ahead and use pageless web design for your website.
- Minimal Content – Pageless web design is a big NO for websites where a large number of content needs to be displayed. Since the focus is on presenting details in a crisp way, pageless web design will not go down well with viewers when it is employed to present vast amounts of information in one go.
- Compel Visitors to Act – Pageless web design presents information to visitors in a coherent, chronological and lucid manner. This approach is very much similar to that of writing a story. Hence, it’s extremely easy for a pageless website to strike a chord with the visitor immediately and offer him or her an immersive browsing experience. Whetting the taste buds of a visitor and making them act in a manner you wish is possible in all likelihood with the use of pageless web design.
- Need to operate on a Tight Budget – Instead of designing several web pages which is likely to add a huge hole in your pocket, you can save an enormous sum of money by having just one single page for your entire website. However, always remember that this does not work well with every web design.
- Reduce Frustration – If information is presented to users in a format which they can easily digest, they are less likely to get frustrated about not finding what they’re seeking. Transforming your website’s design to a pageless one helps you achieve this.
Merits and Demerits of Pageless Web Design
As far as web design is concerned, no particular style is deemed to be perfect and free of drawbacks. Every style has its own share of pros and cons and this is very much the case with pageless web design. With that said, let me personally introduce you to some of the major advantages and disadvantages of this approach in order for you to get the mastery of it.
- All the information is presented under one single roof in a seamless fashion. Hence, users are less likely to leave your site in search of other options.
- Pageless websites are friendly across any screen type since they have just one page to display which makes them highly responsive in nature. Users will find that pageless websites render beautifully across a broad range of devices like tablets, desktops and smartphones.
- Pageless web design promotes higher conversion rates for websites by making use of intuitive interactions and a straightforward design.
- Reduced maintenance is one of the fortes of pageless web design. The effort required to maintain a single webpage is very less when compared to a website with several webpages.
- Visitors to pageless websites feel more encouraged to share the content they encounter due to the enhanced browsing experience on offer.
- Improved user experience is a guarantee when pageless web design is employed for your website.
- Since pageless websites are still not mainstream, there may a sense of unfamiliarity surrounding them which may cause visitors to abandon such sites and seek out options which they are more familiar with.
- One key downside to pageless web design is the increased load times associated with them. Since you are required to display all the elements such as images, text, videos and animations in one single page; the time taken to load it is considerably longer. Hence, visitors might get irritated by the time the page gets rendered on screen.
- There is a possibility that your site’s SEO may not provide you with the results you expect. This may be due to the fact that pageless web design does not provide the prospect of defining title and meta tags within the content.
- Pageless web design is biased towards smaller websites.
Pageless web design promises to be a very exciting outlook for the millions of web designers and web developers all over the world. Its philosophy of keeping visitors engaged to content by means of a thought provoking design is commendable. Compared to traditional websites, pageless sites are far more efficient at utilizing screen real estate and their logical navigation structure gives visitors greater control of the pace at which content is viewed. If you currently own a website that already has a successful web design model in place and gets you the results you desire, it doesn’t make sense to undertake the transition to a pageless design. However, if you’re just testing out the waters and putting together a new website or redesigning an old one, it is advisable to consider pageless web design for your needs ( depending on what you hope to achieve and where you want to take your website).