Introducing One-Pager

What is One-Pager?
Influx and Walking Paper are proud to present One-Pager: a library website template that allows your patrons to find what they want.  

Drawing on our experience with libraries and library websites of all types we distilled our knowledge into a website interface that is good for libraries and good for library users.  

We love libraries.  In our work, we’ve watched users struggle, we’ve learned from mistakes, and we’ve applied what we know to this template. Every library and every set of users is unique, but we can confidently say that One-Pager is founded on the common ground that libraries and library users share.

Whether your patrons are 8 years old or, 85 years old, viewing the website on a phone, tablet, or a PC, One-Pager offers one consistent, usable interface for giving them library information they need.

What ideas informed the development of One-Pager?

  • Designing for Mobile First
    Patrons access library websites on a variety of devices. Not only did we want One-Pager to render well on all of these devices, we knew thinking of mobile sites first would force us to include only what’s important.
  • Saving the Time of the Reader
    People want to quickly grab needed info and move on. Very few libraries have the organizational bandwidth to create excellent destination sites to captivate patrons.
  • Librarians are Busy
    With budgets spread thin most libraries can’t give their websites the attention they deserve. Providing less content frees librarian to spend more time making the important material excellent.
  • Writing is Important
    If you have a website you are a publisher. You can create a great website only by taking this role seriously.
  • Clarity through Simplicity
    Simplicity isn’t decoration. It is the result of a design process meant to create usable products
  • .

Isn’t the One-Pager demo site quite small?
Yes, purposefully so. Many library websites are filled with information that users don’t care about, largely because library website development is stuck in a rut. It is focused on solving problems in one way: the additive way.  

Smaller sites are easier to maintain and allow patrons to find what they want faster. You might think that there is a lot of essential content on your library’s website. A proper One-Pager implementation process will expose the parts that are extraneous and make maintaining and using your website easier.

One-Pager isn’t interactive. Why not?
While we value two-way communication with patrons, we value usable library websites more. Patrons are better served by being able to easily find what they want than by being able to leave a comment. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, however, and One-Pager is a solid foundation from which to grow.  

We are happy to develop One-Pager as a Drupal, WordPress, or Joomla theme specifically tailored to your library’s needs so your patrons can comment as much as they would like.

I’m interested. What should I do next?
Well, next you should take a good hard look at your library website and go for a quiet walk around the block.

Download One-Pager’s code. Tinker with it. Then, shoehorn your current site’s content into the framework and see what works and what doesn’t. Test it with a few people.

Finally, when you are ready to make the principles behind One-Pager really work for you, we invite you to work with us to turn your library website into a lean, efficient, content delivery machine.

Will One-Pager automatically solve all of our website problems?
No. A good website doesn’t arrive swaddled in blankets, delivered by stork. Effectively using One-Pager will require user research, content strategy, writing skills and good design intuition.

What if my library doesn’t know how to do this stuff?
We can help guide you through a user-centered design process that makes sense for your library. We can help you determine critical tasks, assess library needs, rewrite content, help with usability testing and more.

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

-Aaron Schmidt, Amanda Etches-Johnson & Nate Hill

19 thoughts on “Introducing One-Pager”

  1. Very nice! Any suggestions about a free wysiwyg html editor to go along with this?

    I suggest adding a “Library Board” section. Even though almost no library users give a hoot, there may be legal requirements to include board info on the library’s website. (In Illinois, if a full-time PL staff member spends any time maintaining the website, board agendas and minutes need to be posted on it.) I suppose that’d require some deviation from the “one-pager” concept, though.

  2. @Brian,
    I use CKEditor in my Drupal websites, I’d suggest you go with it.
    Everyone has different opinions on the matter though.

    The One-Pager is expandable- remember everything you see here is just a suggested set of labels. Every library is different, so maybe you have different needs. Perhaps putting information about the library board is best tucked away in an ‘about’ section…

  3. I think this idea has huge potential. Most websites are overblown and hard to use and maintain as a consequence. Providing a sound structure and sensible constraints is a good thing.

    From a maintenance point of view, how about making everything editable in place once you’re logged in?

    For opening hours you might want to try incorporating my opening hours widget, which is based on the minimal idea that most people don’t want to see a list of opening times but just want to know opening/closing times for today and tomorrow.

    My main concern about this one-page idea is that the individual bits of content don’t have granular URLs because they’re not on separate pages. Perhaps it just doesn’t matter anyway.

  4. Adrian,

    I hadn’t actually considered that there aren’t distinct URLs to link to. You’re right, it might not matter but it is an issue to consider.

    Really like your opening hours widget!

  5. @Adrian

    ‘My main concern about this one-page idea is that the individual bits of content don’t have granular URLs because they’re not on separate pages.’

    This is a good point. This is the kind of thing that one might do differently based on the size and scope of the website. If I was implementing aspects of One-Pager on a large site with a lot of user-generated content like blog posts, I think you’d have to be able to drill down further into the content via URL. Really, any of these sections could link to an expanded version with a distinct URL based on preference.

    Careful not to take One-Pager too literally… indeed it is one page right now, but there is nothing written in stone that says ‘if you use One-Pager and don’t stick to one page, you are bad and you are doing it wrong’. It is just a starting point.

    Oh- and nice widget!

  6. I’d really like to try this template, but the link to download the files isn’t working. Can you please fix or let me know if they are no longer available? Thanks!

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