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Making the most of "The Fold"

I see many websites that fail to adhere to this very simple rule of thumb and I thought it would be worth explaining the concept of "The Fold"

What is The Fold

Taken directly from Wikipedia which describes it as follows:

"Above the fold" is a graphic design concept that refers to the location of an important news story or a visually appealing photograph on the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. Most papers are delivered and displayed to customers folded up, meaning that only the top half of the front page is visible. Thus, an item that is "above the fold" may be one that the editors feel will entice people to buy the paper.

The same applies to websites where the fold is the area visible on the screen without scrolling

What is so important about The Fold?

Just like a newspaper on the stand, this is the area that should contain the most important information, particularly on the home page. Although studies have shown that users are happy to scroll, it is still important to make an immediate impact. Without making the page overly busy, you should consider placing the following items above the fold:

  • Navigation
  • Introduction text
  • Call to action e.g. register or buy
  • Contact details

Basically you should have your most important information above the fold, whatever you see fit

How big is the The Fold?

Obviously the size of this area depends on the screen resolution that your browsers are using. This varies from site to site and user to user however on average around 45% of screen resolutions come in at 1024 x 768 pixels. Allowing for scroll bars, tool bars etc, this gives you approximately 960 x 700 pixels. A good test is to set your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 and see what is visible on your site.

Why should I worry about The Fold?

It is important to make your users life as easy as possible. If they have to scroll to get to the good information on your site then you are forcing them to do something they shouldn't have to. Why make life difficult?

Your users have very little time and are very impatient, if they don't see what they want immediately then they will go elsewhere. It is therefore extremely important to get as much good information in front of them as soon as possible. It is also possible that they won't scroll at all and miss anything further down the page.

I strongly recommend you take a look at your website and see if this can be improved. Try it and see how it improves your results!

Posted: Saturday 9 August 2008 11:48:18 by Global Administrator with 0 comments
Categories: Web Design
Trackback URL: http://www.connexion.co.uk/trackback/08c4bcb1-93f7-4ecb-8c0b-5a95755e6684/Making-the-most-of-The-Fold.aspx?culture=en-GB

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