Almost Single Page

Slate published an interesting article on Google’s Master Plan. When I got to the bottom of the article, I noticed they had a multi-page article breadcrumb.

Oh, one of those.

Like many ad-driven websites, they split the article into two parts because it will get them more ad impressions. Okay, whatever. But what’s this?


Notice the option to click “single page”. But in a two-page article, what is the point of that, since I’d still be performing the same act of clicking to another page? Obviously, this functionality is probably automated and it’s in place for heavier articles on Slate where there would actually be a benefit (anything more than three pages).

But it clearly should be disabled for two-page articles. Maybe it’s not Slate’s fault, or maybe they’re just not interested in modifying the plugin or the code used to create that functionality.

As a side point, I clicked around to many different recent articles on Slate, and couldn’t find another multi-page piece. So this doesn’t seem to be a regular thing.

I guess the lesson for UI designers is: Make sure every bit of functionality in your apps and pages has some purpose or benefit to the user experience. Clearly this piece of redundancy doesn’t.

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1 Comment

  1. Personally, I appreciate a single page view feature and look for that first in multi-page articles. This technique is employed on many large websites, and I find it useful not only in the reading experience, though it would be better positioned higher on the page rather than near the pagination as most will not scan the article before beginning to read, but also in printing the article.

    You may ask the use in printing a resource available on the web when sharing a link is so much easier? Well, Print remains a built-in browser function and printing to PDF is still something I find myself doing once or twice each week while surfing as bookmarking isn’t particularly suited to my browsing habits.

    In summary, the feature has a purpose for some who want the full viewing experience on a single page, even if the article is only two pages in length. I’d prefer to click “Single Page” than “2” or “Next” and ingest the article in full.

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