The Fold: How Important Is It?
The term “the fold” and phrase “above the fold” most commonly used when discussing website design refers to the area on a web page that is visible in a web browser without scrolling. It has long been believed that designers and developers alike should be conscious of keeping the most important page content in this area. However, with the emergence of mobile browsing and with more and more devices capable of accessing the web, the idea of placing important items in this prized area of real estate has become increasingly questionable.
Why might you ask? Well, for the simple fact that people scroll. On desktops, smartphone and tablets alike. Interesting concept, right? With the use of these devices on the rise, the predictability of the location of the fold is also on a decline. Creatives can no longer rely on standard screen heights to guide their designs. Instead, focus should be placed on usability of pages, content and user experience to inform the decision making process when building sites.
While the importance of this concept is on the decline, it is still important to keep your brands most important imagery and messaging above the fold. This area should be rich with premium page content, giving users no choice but to continue to explore your site. However, this is also not an invitation to cram website content down the throat of the user (.i.e. too much content above the fold). Striking a balance between relevant content, eye-catching aesthetics, and consideration for the user experience and usability will drive them to scroll.