How many pages does a website have? When building apps for the web I don’t think it’s helpful to think in terms of pages too much. I think the page metaphor has outlived its usefulness for the most part, for most apps. It made perfect sense when the web was a document retrieval system. It was a very natural metaphor, iconic.

I think the browser is now most usefully conceptualised as a window to a physical (2-or-3 dimensional) space. The app’s functionality should be thought to interact with that space directly, rather than through the abstraction of pages.

What this means in practice is hard to say, it’s more of a state-of-mind than a strategy but it can certainly change your approach to certain design challenges. I think it’s an attitude that improves the component structure of code too. I don’t have a ‘pages’ directory in any of my web apps and I generally feel like it’s been a helpful mindset.

Don’t publish functionality, frame it and direct it.