Designing for an audience that may only look “above the fold” is a long-standing practice that goes back as far as newspapers do, but how much it matters in today’s world of scroll wheels and touchpads is the subject of much debate.
In the early days of the internet, users weren’t accustomed to scrolling. It wasn’t a natural – or user-friendly – process. In order to make their sites as easy to navigate as possible, web and UX designers made sure that their important content and calls-to-action appeared “above the fold.”
There was no debate: this was the way we had to design, whether we liked it or not.
Things have changed. Technology demanded it.
Now, our audience has had years to adjust to scrolling mice, smart devices, touchpads, and myriad screen sizes, and designers have put their theories about the fold to the test – literally!
We’ve put together some highlights from this article here, but feel free to read over the whole thing to fully understand why above the fold design matters – and why it doesn’t.
- When you only have .05 seconds (not a typo!) to make an impression, what you put above the fold is what your users are going to judge most.
- Lots of engagement happens below the fold now – but only if users like what they see well enough to get there.
- Above the fold is where branding begins. Use that space to set your site apart from the competition, or your audience will visit them instead.
There are lots of tricks to get your visitors to start scrolling and keep them engaged as they move through the pages of your site and into your sales funnel. We know now that users will scroll – as long as you give them a compelling reason to stay.
Is it time to take another look at how users are interacting with your website? You may not need to redesign your whole site; many times we can greatly improve your web experience by adhering the latest design and usability standards and applying those to your current framework.
Contact us for a free user experience review today!