The Truth About The Fold

October 1, 2014

Web Design

It’s common talk in the website development industry to discuss “the fold” and the content that goes “above the fold.”  The fold is the bottom of the browser where content gets cut off prior to scrolling.  What if I told you that the idea of the fold is no longer important…

The concept of the fold started from newspapers.  When people displayed newspapers for sale to the public, it was important to have an eye-catching image and intriguing headline all above the actual fold of the paper.  If done right and people were captivated by the content, it would increase sales.  This concept translated to the internet in the 90’s.

The idea of scrolling was foreign to people so statistical research as recent at 2010 stated that only 20% of traffic actually looked below the fold.  All this has changed, and changed DRASTICALLY…

The Game Changer: Mobile Scrolling + Improved Screen Resolutions

Pick up your phone right now… You’re only movement through properly developed applications is up and down, not side-to-side and zooming in-and-out.

Solution Architects and UX Specialists have completely revamped website structure to work with all devices.  Many developers start building from the mobile perspective and then expand the content to tablet and desktop versions.  People today expect a scrolling environment and are actually surprised when it’s not available.  From a development point-of-view, companies can now organize content much easier instead of having it cluttered “above the fold.”

You’re still going to want to put important material in the top section of your website (obviously), but let it be a preview of the scrolling experience.

Our Advice:

Prioritize your information around what is most important, not the fold.  Ask yourself: “What is the goal of the website?” and design around that.   People have asked me, “well what if my CTA is above the fold and it disappears when they start scrolling?” – The answer: Use a Fixed/Sticky Header.  As you’re scrolling down this page right now, you can still click the green Request A Quote button in the top right… This functionality can also easily translate to the mobile viewing experience (shown right).

You can also have CTAs in other areas as you scroll.  You’ll notice most of clients in our portfolio have a CTA Bar above their footer… Keep scrolling down this page and you’ll see it stating: “Ready to make your site profitable?” …well, are you?

Get Creative!

Users know to scroll, so use it to your advantage.  Tell a story on your website through this functionality and actually guide them through the sales funnel.  By organizing your content and establishing clean CTAs in the process, you can dramatically increase the amount of conversions your website produces.

Enjoy scrolling ; )