Many times we’ve had clients come to us and say “I want my information and products to be ‘above the fold’ so visitors don’t have to scroll down the page to see it”. While it is important that information and products be easily to find on your website, the age-old thought of making sure it is ‘above the fold’ doesn’t have the same meaning it used to since the internet has changed so much.
‘Above the fold’ actually derives from newspapers. Printers used to design newspapers so that the most important information would on the first half of the top page because when they were distributed, they were folded in half – hence the term ‘above the fold’.
When it comes to websites, ‘above the fold’ also means the top part of your website before you have to scroll to view content – but how much space is that really? Back before 2005, computer monitors had a resolution of 1024×768 pixels which means a website had roughly 600px of room for the content on the top part of the page. But computer monitors have changed drastically since then – according to W3C schools, approximately 85% people now have higher screen resolutions. More people are also viewing the internet on their mobile and tablet devices in landscape and portrait mode which mixes up the design aspect even more!
Another thought that went along with the ‘above the fold’ idea was that people NEVER would scroll down to view content, so old websites used to have all of the content crammed in the first 600 pixels – this left very little creativity space for graphic designers to work with and the sites ended up looking icky. That thought isn’t so anymore, we know that people today have no problem scrolling down to view content. This point is explained really well on Paddy Donnelly’s “Life, Below 600px” website.
A few thoughts on graphic design and website design when thinking about “the fold”. It’s important to have your content be easily found on your website, but it’s also important to keep in mind that visitors will scroll through your website and so that can allow for your new website/redesign to be designed and coded beautifully so that it entices your readers to stay on your and read/shop. 🙂
Pretty neat, huh? Learn something new everyday. 🙂