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Pattern: One-Pager

By Michael Jastram posted 03-07-2019 03:54



Some information is so central that it needs to be very accessible. This pattern is described in detail in The Power of a One-Pager


Some companies put their mission statement in a frame in every conference room. The idea behind this is that this information is so central to everybody's activities that it must be in full view all the time, and consumable in minutes.

In product development, there are some pieces of information that are equally important. Making this information as accessible is a simple yet powerful pattern.


Use the pattern when you feel that a significant number of people should have some key information, and you notice that this is not the case.


There are three things that you need to clarify:

  • Where is the pain? A one-pager makes sense, if communication does not work well.
  • Who is involved? Make sure you distinguish between creators and readers.
  • What is included? One page is not much space, so only include what helps ease the pain.


The pattern has the following benefits and liabilities:

  • Benefits:
    • Easy to absorb key information that ensures that everybody is "on the same page"
    • Speeds up onboarding of new team members
  • Liabilities:
    • Expensive to maintain, outdated information can be harmful
    • If overused, nobody will use it


The pattern can be realized with a presentation tool or similar. A whiteboard (digital or photographed) is another option. You can use a specialized tool, but be careful that it does not constrain you too much.

The resulting one-pager should be clear to the stakeholders, and it is very important to get buy-in, so involve them in the creation process. A reader should be able to absorb its content in a few minutes. Be sure that it really addresses the pain you identified, and make it a living document.

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