Life was much easier when
Apple & BlackBerry were just fruits.
Picture a Swiss Army knife- one tool with several functions. The positives of it include versatility within one entity; it is multi-purposeful while being compact. The negatives entail a lower quality of operation and possible confusion when navigating for a specific tool, both due to the tradeoff of it’s adaptability and miniaturization. What defines the value of the utility knife is it’s balance between those two sides of the spectrum. This idea can be metaphorically compared to a single page website- one site containing several pages all working in harmony with each other to execute a goal. A writer on web-savvy-marketing.com defines this type of website saying, “A one page website is simply a single page website that uses only one HTML page. When clicking on navigation links, the user scrolls down the page or jumps to that particular content’s section.” This trendy adaptation has critics all around, so lets take a look at 2 examples of single page web designs, one of which implements it beautifully while the other needs revision.
The Good- My Provence Festival:
When discovering the My Provence Festival 2013 website you are first confronted by the striking aesthetic of the art on the homepage. The homepage is the hub of any site; it sets the tone for what’s to come and how to get there. The beauty of this one is it’s whimsical, yet retro vibe that is translated through all of the artwork and typography. The design is unified, thus the navigation is clear to the user about what & how they should explore.
The global navigation is traditionally placed at the top in a row, and stays stationary as you scroll. This is extremely simple, yet effective placement because you can jump to any section of the site and know exactly how to navigate despite the large amount of contents.
The grace of this design lies in it’s details. When scrolling downward from section to section the page falls slowly in a slight bouncy transition- this in combination with the highlighted name of the section in the nav bar clearly demonstrates what portion of the site you are on. Consequently, the various sections of the site are unified artistically, yet categorically separated in a cohesive way.
Interaction and an ever-changing interface is one of the several things that separates web from print, and My Provence Festival’s website exploits that beautifully. There are many points of interest that provide satisfaction and participation for the user. It’s as if there are hidden gems that the consumer can discover by actively scrolling, clicking, flipping, and revealing images and information.
Whether through the inspiration from animation, or concentration of information in an organized fashion, My Provence Festival’s website utilizes the benefits of a single webpage to it’s fullest.
The Bad- Ousback:
A benefit of single page web designs is that they can evoke a simplicity that allows the viewer to concentrate on particular sections. There may be a lot of information but it isn’t overwhelming, rather it greets the user in a welcoming way. Unfortunately, the website iamousback.com not only negates capturing the users attention with a valued homepage, but doesn’t include any information at all. The simplicity is striking, but in a confusing sort of way. This notion of questioning the site is then reinforced with the absence of clear navigation? Sure there are two buttons/options at the top, but ‘listen’ and ‘connect’ could mean any number of things.
Despite the confusion and because of the eye-catching artwork, I decided to take the plunge and click ‘listen’. I appreciated the easy transition from section to section, but when I wanted to go back and explore the ‘connect’ link I couldn’t find the navigation bar to take me there. Regardless if the band (which I have only now realized that’s what the title means because of the song links) wants to promote their music with links to purchase and listen, they are missing a vital aspect of the website that connects all the pieces of the puzzle.
Right now pieces of iamousback.com are jumbled & missing. Their product is great, but their promotion isn’t, and to their detriment it could cost them fans. Through a reevaluation of hierarchy, navigation, incorporation of information the site has the pieces of a single page website that need to be properly fit together.
The Band- Jack Johnson:
“An individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change.” This quote by Jack Johnson references his recently wrapped up tour, From Here To Now To You. Performing in intimate historical theaters through Europe, Canada and the US, Jack along with his fans, band, touring crew, and venue operators were mindful of their environmental impact. I not only appreciate, but also admire this care and resourcefulness. Johnson’s lyrics and beliefs, are then wonderfully translated to his website jackjohnsonmusic.com/. Using natural wood textures, iconic vector imagery, and a cool color palate evocative of Mother Nature, his homepage invites you to come along on a musical journey.
Beginning with navigation, it sits in a row at the top providing a foundation for the header composed of his name and a complementary song to listen to while traveling his site. San serif faces are used through the entirety of this website and lend themselves to his smooth, universal musical aesthetic.
Johnson’s passions translate openly through his lyrics, just like obvious grid when clicking on the linked page entitled ‘Music’. With square modules framing his album covers there is clear organization between albums and soundtracks. By hovering over each image you can either click on its link to purchase, or just scroll over each to learn the title of the album and record label that made it.
What I love & aim to portray in my single page website is Jack Johnson’s intimate, cozy character. Utilizing design tools such as type, color palette, and imagery, I will exploit the singularity and cohesion of the page style to exemplify Johnson’s music. All in all, rather than being overwhelmed by the advances in technology and web design, let’s use them for the betterment of culture, and take advantage of their innovation.