• Dwight Dubowits

The Fold Is Real

When building your website, content placement is key. One somewhat controversial tip is the concept of "the fold". The original idea came from newspapers, when ideally, eye-catching content was above the folded line so as to lure in potential purchasers.

In theory, the concept is a good one. However, in this day and age, it has its flaws. A website's fold is the screen area a user lands on without having to scroll. Generally, one would design for the smallest average screen (around 700 px high). But how do you reconcile this across multiple devices? A designer must consider the various sizes of smart phones, tablets and desktops. Fortunately, it is possible to alter your design for mobile, tablet and desktop view - it just takes a bit of finessing.

The idea of the fold does not posit that the average user won't scroll, just that they won't scroll unless you've captured their attention right off the bat. The idea of designing above the fold is to intrigue them enough to WANT to scroll.

Generally, although there are exceptions to this rule - you want to keep your call to action above the fold as well. Consider that if you are confident that your user WILL scroll, you may want to put your call to action at the bottom of the page as well OR freeze your header (where your call to action would presumably be) so it scrolls with the rest of the page.

Keep in mind that "the fold" principle is not just for home pages. There is no point getting your users interested enough in scrolling or clicking through to other pages, just to have them click the "back" button immediately when the page they land on lacks intrigue.

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