Greater Than One

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Thought Leadership

Filter - May 2015

Seamless Content Through Single-Page Interactive Storytelling

According to John Maeda, the author of Laws of Simplicity, “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.” As modern Web technology advances rapidly, we have seen cool new ways to display information to users. One that beautifully fulfills Maeda’s definition of simplicity is single-page application (SPA).

SPA has the ability to include large photos and videos in a seamless creative flow controlled by the marketer. Upon opening a single-page website, the user is immediately immersed in the opening lines of a great story. As the user scrolls down at his or her own pace, different chapters of the story seamlessly reveal themselves in stylized motions, such as parallax effects or motion-graphic animation. The experience is viscerally and emotionally satisfying to the user.

Compared with multi-page storytelling on the Web, single-page storytelling removes clutter and focuses the user’s attention on important content.

The graphic above shows some of the advantages of single-page storytelling versus the multi-page approach:

  • Fewer clicks
  • More continuous flow
  • Easier to organize and maintain
  • Cleaner layouts
  • Sharper focus
  • Stronger engagement

When teamed up with responsive design, SPA may be the current best practice in Web design because it creates memorable and enjoyable stories and intuitive user experiences. In addition, SPAs are great for mobile use because mobile device users are already accustomed to scrolling through a long page without having to click around.

SPA can work in 2 ways:

  1. All necessary code (HTML, JavaScript, and CSS) is retrieved with a single-page load
  2. The appropriate resources are dynamically loaded and added to the page as necessary, usually in response to user actions

Storytelling has always been the most compelling way to deliver messages that that inspire, motivate, and elicit action. But SPA has the additional UX benefit of creating big impact with even a small amount of content; it practices the art of simplicity. Check out these 2 engaging examples of the difference that SPA makes:


— Wei Chao, Associate Director of Technology