In Beautiful Evidence, Edward Tufte says, “If you’re running a business, figure out how to pack a huge amount of information onto a single 11×17” sheet of paper and print it out on a laserprinter, then give it to decision makers. With that one sheet of paper, they will have as much information as 15 computer screenfuls or 300 PowerPoint slides.”

pdf linkSo why don’t more web sites do this? Occasionally you’ll see a dedicated one-page takeaway sheet (Left: Regonline offers a “One-Page Brochure” PDF in the sidebar). But usually a crappy print job is the best a visitor can do. That just doesn’t pack the same punch.

There’s an underlying issue here: Site builders often assume the person visiting a site is the one who actually makes the call on purchasing decisions. In real world business settings, that’s not always the way it works. The person who signs the checks often isn’t the most web savvy person or is too busy/apathetic to really dig into nitty gritty site details.

One-sheeters like Regonline’s can be left on the boss’ desk. In a lot of places, that can be the difference between being ignored and getting in the game.