When designing a website with a minimal number of pages and not a ton of content, a single-page design can be an innovative way to set the site apart.
Navigation has to be given some special consideration when it comes to single-page sites, to make sure visitors can get back to the home section of the page without issues, and navigate from any one section to any other section. This is often achieved through sticky headers or repeating navigation in each section.
The sites below are all excellent examples of single-page websites. They're both usable and aesthetically-pleasing, and take full advantage of the single-page format.
The Roaaar website includes a "return to top" link at the bottom of each section, which makes it easy for visitors to get back to the navigation in the header.
Duplos by Ricardo Mestre
The Duplos site takes a different approach, putting the main content at the bottom of the page. Navigation takes you further up the page, rather than down.
The lighthouse motif here runs the entire length of the page, going from space down to ground level. Banners hanging out of windows on the lighthouse return you to the top of the page where the navigation is.
The Kaleidoscope website uses different background images and textures behind each section of the site. This differentiates each content area from each other content area.
Short pages like this one with minimal content work particularly well. The navigation stays in the sidebar when you scroll down the page.
This site uses a horizontal slider to load new content, sliding through other content to reach the page you've navigated to. The navigation bar stays on top regardless of what page you're on.
Simple, personal profile sites like this one are perfectly suited to a single-page design. The icons and accent colors add a bit more visual interest to the design, which is otherwise very neutral.
Using an accordion effect to display new content works well when the content isn't too long. The illustrated header image and the gray and orange color scheme both make the site stand out.
Using textures and simple illustrations makes the Tweet CC site visually appealing while it's also kept simple with a monochromatic color scheme.
Sites offering straight-forward services can work particularly well in a single-page format. There's not too much information to offer and keeping it all on one page makes it easy for potential customers to quickly find what they need.
The Feelwire site keeps things simple, and offers extra information with tooltips. The white background keeps it minimalist and the bold icons add visual interest.
The Hot Meteor site uses a typography-focused, gray and red design. The header is sticky, keeping the navigation at the top of the page.
This site uses an interesting slider effect, with each section (the header, main content, and footer) sliding separately from each other.
The grid design used here isn't seen very often in single-page designs. But with plenty of white space, it works well to include a lot of different content in a very streamlined design.
The design here is simple and straightforward, and the 2-column design works well to fit more content on the page without making it look heavy.
Jorge Fino's site puts the focus squarely on the designs. Navigation is nonexistent (other than scrolling) and the contact information is included in both the header and the footer.
Here's another site with no navigation. It's kept to a reasonable length, though, so it's not an issue.
The navigation here is a bit different. Rather than including buttons that take you back to the top, or navigation on each screen, buttons are included next to each project and content area to go up or down one screen. There's also a navigation bar at the top to skip to each main section.
Navigation on this site combines both main navigation and links at the end of each section to return visitors to the top of the page. Illustrated doodles link together each section, giving a sense of continuity to the entire page.
The layout of the Deluge Studios site is one of the most unique featured here. Two columns provide five content areas, all linked from the top navigation. Including main content sections in the smaller "sidebar"-style column makes the page significantly shorter.
Stage 5 Studio
The Stage 5 Studio site is short, with no navigation. "Read more" links slide out more information about each project, while other content is kept in the "sidebar".
The SmartCube site uses a sticky header to keep the navigation on the screen at all times. It also uses a combination of 1- and 2-column layouts, depending on the content.
Inside Secrets to an iPhone App
This is one of the longer single-page websites featured here. It uses a sticky header with navigation to make it easy to get from one section to any other.
Kill The Spill
Keeping a charity site like this one short and to the point is almost sure to increase the number of donations coming in. The bold typography, graphic images, and inclusion of a donation form at the bottom all work perfectly together.
Here's another site that starts you out at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the "find out more" link scrolls the page up to a portfolio area. Modal windows there give close-ups of each fabric.
App websites are well-suited to single page designs, as they often have limited content and only a screenshot or two for images.
Here's another very long page. The navigation repeats at the top of each section, and the logo slides down the page as it scrolls.
The Conway Anderson site uses a mix of sliders (for the about and contact info) and modal windows (for the work) to display content. The simple, grid-based design and monochromatic color scheme keep things simple and modern looking.
Daniel Moir's site is simple with minimal content and no navigation. The 2-column design organizes the different types of content on the site and keeps it shorter.
Latte Per Day
Pre-launch websites are very well-suited to single page designs, as is shown here. There's not enough content yet to justify a multi-page site.
The Beehive Market
Here's another longer single-page site. The bright yellow background and bee illustrations tie the whole site together, and navigation repeats at the top of each section.
The Rubidine site uses a sticky header with a transparent background that blends in with each individual content section.
Tyler Termini's website is short, with navigation only in the header. Because it's not a very long page, it's not really a problem to have to scroll back to the top (or just scroll through each section without using the navigation at all).
The grayscale color scheme here looks great. The work displayed goes into full color when hovered over, and when clicked on a color modal window opens up with a larger version.
Written and compiled exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
What do you like best about single page websites? Have any favorites that weren't featured here? Please share in the comments below...