Does Above the Fold Still Matter in Web Design?

By mslightam, 20 February, 2012

Krome Site in Google Browser Size

Krome Site in Google Browser Size

Is a question being asked more in modern web design. For those of you who don’t know above and below the fold refers to the part of the web page which can be viewed when first visiting a website without scrolling, and the area which can’t.

There are many studies which have been undertaken in recent years regarding whether users do scroll down to review content below the fold as a matter of course. The overriding conclusion being that they do and that ‘below the fold’ should no longer be a big concern to site designers.

Wait a moment however, we still think it’s well worth thinking about. Website design should still prioritise content display in order of importance, the most important information being displayed above the fold – that which is less crucial being placed below.

By doing this you will not only be giving your design the maximum impact you will also be conveying your clients design message as quickly as possible. As a very large bonus you will also be making the browsing experience quicker and more pleasurable for the site user. They are used to scrolling BUT if you can speed their browsing by giving them the most useful information as quickly as possible surely this is advantageous.

Also worth noting in that smaller screens as those seen in tablet, iPad, Android, Windows 8 and modern smart phones work really well with sites which have taken the line into consideration. As the browsing market swings more and more towards these platforms it’s well worth taking into consideration (view our homepage on iPad for instance, doesn’t it fit nicely!).

If you are looking to design with the fold in mind we’d recommend making yourself a photoshop template which shows the visible area and what percentage of users can view it. To keep up to date with that info visit http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/, it shows the area and even let’s you browse your current sites to see how they measure up based on the latest browsing stats.

Finally don’t forget to test your site on a few platforms, desktop, iPad, smart phone etc to ensure the user browsing experience is as quick and pleasurable as possible.

About the Author

Matt Slightam, Creative Director at Krome Design, has over 15 years’ experience in branding, graphic design and the web design industry. His ethos is for clean, simple and concise GUI design, always with an eye towards ease of use. He has a passion for brand building and a love for illustration, as with most of the Krome Design team he also believes firmly in the importance of a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake.

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