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Does anyone have some instances or cases where onepage web applications (for example, a lot of AngularJS apps) are inferior to full loading pages? I'm not including technology, SEO, etc. Only from a pure user experience perspective.

  • Technology and SEO are certainly related to UX. – DA01 Jul 9 '14 at 22:40
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    @DA01 he's very clearly clarifying the problem space. He's not interested in discussing technical reasons, or SEO reasons for preferring one over the other. He's interested only in discussing the effects on the user once they are already using the app. This makes perfect sense to me. – Nick Coad Jul 10 '14 at 6:57
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Whether your product should be a one-page solution or a more traditional multi-page solution is entirely dependent on a whole lot of factors.

There's no way to give this question a blanket answer.

A one-page app could be designed with great UX, or terrible UX. Whether it's one page or not really has no direct bearing on the quality of the UX.

Broadly speaking, however, if your product consists of delivering 'pages' of content, then there likely is little-to-no reason to go forward as a one-page app. A one-page app is typically when your web site is designed as an actual application--when it's purpose is more utilitarian in nature rather than content-delivery.

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  • Thanks, @DA01! Solid answer. On a side note, do you have any examples of layouts where a traditional multi-page design would be more permitting to UX? – Tejas Manohar Jul 10 '14 at 0:18
  • I don't know that page layout is directly related to whether a site is a one-page or multi-page experience. I think any multi-page site could be turned into a single-page app type experience. And it could be done with little-to-no UX impact (though work would be involved). – DA01 Jul 10 '14 at 0:23
  • @DA01 good answer. The primary benefit for the user of a single page app is that the app should feel more fluid. This is a side-effect of loading only partial content instead of entire pages with each interaction. If your 'single page' app is just 'turning pages' there's no real benefit for the user. If you have, for example, four or five controls on the page that can be interacted with, preventing a full reload on every interaction will make a world of difference. – Nick Coad Jul 10 '14 at 7:01
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Single page applications are perfect for dynamic content sites with a lot of asynchronous server communication. For small websites that serve information only, the development overhead in terms of time and cost would deem it unnecessary to build a single page application.

Your decision should be on a site by site basis, keeping in mind that there is a use case for both.

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