Weekend Open Forum: Single page vs. multi-page reviews

Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

It's been three years since we debuted TechSpot 3.0 and while the most basic form and function of the site remains the same, there's not been a single quarter since where we haven't made major improvements and optimizations to the site's code, content and design (spoiler: we're working on a new section that we hope will have you having fun as you learn new tech facts, coming up soon).

We're always on the lookout for your feedback, but there are times when it's simply better to ask you directly. To the point, as you know our long-form content is comprised of reviews, guides, features, and gaming benchmarks, and most of the time we paginate this content in a manner that we believe makes sense.

There are some shorter pieces and the odd review that can comfortably fit on a single page, but longer detailed articles like our recent Galaxy S8+ review or for features that contain lots of benchmarks, we've continued the long standing practice of dividing the content on several pages. Then again, browsing habits evolve, net connections are faster, and maybe preferences have shifted.

Now, to be clear, we don't plan to change the length or depth of our feature content, what we're asking is strictly about how we format such content.

Instead of a two-option poll, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter, so feel free to elaborate: single page vs. multi-page reviews. What do you prefer? Any other feedback on how to format our reviews and longer features?

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I'm not fond of placing "ads" for products and services in the middle of what might be considered "news". I understand the need for a revenue stream, but the current practice is too much like the news shows that have become more about opinion and point of view rather than news. I tend to look at all of it, although not necessarily at one time or in the specific order. This comes from a person 60+ that is used to the dry, matter of fact kind of reporting we could depend upon. Editorial Opinion is welcome, but please separate it so we know what we are reading. OK, I'm headed back to my recliner and doubling down on the Metamucil .......
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
Video reviews and Coverflow-style photo galleries are ruining sites like this. Avoid those pitfalls and you guys can do your articles however it makes sense. For things like comprehensive hardware shootouts, the multi-page format works fine, although I admit that I usually go straight to "conclusions".
 

kapital98

TS Guru
I agree with Uncle Al about separating fact from opinion (which isn't done enough).

As for formatting: Multi-page formats are almost always better for reviews. Then again, I almost exclusively use a desktop (a dying breed). Maybe change it for mobile? The few times I have viewed Techspot on mobile it seems to be an extreme hassle to switch pages.

Pleas no video reviews unless they are supplementing a written review. Same goes for interviews. I come to a website to read and see images, not as a way to view videos. Otherwise I'd skip the dedicated website and go straight to youtube (which would lead to less revenue for techspot too). Stay minimal on the gifs too. Gifs are blatantly overused and are extremely distracting when reading. Less is more in many ways.
 

Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Current is good, do keep the page index with titles.

Multi-page with short summation paragraphs in the body and hypertext links to even more detail.

I enjoyed Chaucer because of the many explanatory footnotes... this still holds true. ...( Whan that Aprill with the shoures soote...The droughte of March hath perced to the roote ... and bathed every veyne in swich licoor... )
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Multi-page is better for mobile as you only have to load 1 page of content at a time. It also gives each section of the review it's own logical divider.

Where multi-page doesn't make sense are articles that don't need that logical division. Things like galleries and event coverage. You can keep the one photo per page to mobile but on desktop it's just annoying.
 

veLa

TS Evangelist
Definitely multi-page. Single page websites are nice for portfolio sites, especially with the scroll-to-anchor feature. However, when it comes to reviews, there's no reason to do that way. I like having it separated into individual pages, if I want to jump to the conclusion, I can hop to that page, if I just want to see the performance, I'll go the gaming benchmarks. You guys do a fantastic job as it is, stick with multi-page reviews.
 
  • Like
Reactions: soulsassassin

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
I also will be one to suggest that multipage reviews, when there is enough content to warrant it, is my preferred choice. It lets me get to whichever section I want to go to. Another way to say it is: I like how things currently are.
 

hitech0101

TS Guru
I notice a lot of new flagship phones are shipping without FM radio, in the recent S8+ review in I did not notice this mentioned a one line mentioning that would have been nice. Also I liked the way budget phones like moto g5 were present in the review it gives a good idea how much are you really getting for paying a premium.
 

nigel

TS Enthusiast
Multipage is best. Less to load and quicker. Yes we normally have greater speed, but bandwidth still costs especially when away.
 

Skjorn

TS Guru
I like multi-page reviews, its an easy way to get information quicker than looking through an entire page. I usually go straight to the page selector for reviews on any site.

Please no videos. Only time I want to see videos are for certain hard to follow guides. Like a delidding video on a specific delid tool and make it quick and short, no need to talk about all the equipment because we got there from a review article most likely. Videos are for guides to me, not reviews.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Michael Baker

Scshadow

TS Evangelist
I've never seen obnoxiously short pages here. I think its in good tastes the way it is. If there is enough content to justify sectioning it out to multiple pages like it usually is here, then thats how it should be.
 
D

davislane1

All these guys saying multi-page? Ignore them.

Single-page long form, styled for readability on mobile. That's where it's at.

Signed,

TS Inquisitor
 

ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
KitGuru has the option to view reviews either way. It loads the first page, but has the option in the page menu of 'View All Pages'. I tend to use that option because it allows me to quickly browse to interesting parts, such as benchmarks.

In any case, if doing multi-page, please put the page list at the top. If there's anything I hate it's wanting to skip to a specific page, scrolling down, and then having the page updated, pushing the link from under the mouse cursor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jyrkz

Jyrkz

TS Booster
KitGuru has the option to view reviews either way. It loads the first page, but has the option in the page menu of 'View All Pages'. I tend to use that option because it allows me to quickly browse to interesting parts, such as benchmarks.

In any case, if doing multi-page, please put the page list at the top. If there's anything I hate it's wanting to skip to a specific page, scrolling down, and then having the page updated, pushing the link from under the mouse cursor.
Customization is the key!
So you dont force others your own way.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Single page, multi page... it really makes no difference to me. If it's multipage I'd like the index to stay so I can skip from the introduction to the bottom line without having to skim through a lot of bloat, unless of course it's a product that piques my interest then I'll read the review from start to finish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: H3llion

H3llion

TechSpot Paladin
From SEO/Ad perspective yes multi-page, from user experience, single. Default multi-page, with the option to load all in 1 page.
 

Phr3d

TS Guru
Multi-page (present config) works for me, with pages as index at bottom. I tend to skip scrolling the charts unless I have a specific question, so obvious benefit to me that I don't Hafta' scroll those if I'm not interested in the minutiae of the product reviewed (desktop only, me).
 

nismo91

TS Evangelist
Gotta go with multipage. especially when you're dealing with benchmarks in which different pages help to keep things neat. take an example: 10 years of intel cpus benchmarked. undoubtedly a mess if viewed in single page.

only go for singlepage if you do short reviews with only 4 or less pages. take the atx case review for an example. I'm glad we didn't have too much of these short reviews anyway.