It feels like since decades the fold is being discussed. And yes, still in 2018 the fold is a matter. Did we get nothing better to do? Sure, but we have to face the fact that people – often times HIPPOS and half-knowers – are talking about it and throw their requirements, wanting to put everything above the fold. “Shouldn’t we reduce whitespace?”, “Shouldn’t we put all options (aka CTAs) on the stage?”, “Shouldn’t we blah bli blub?”, you name it. And as many other ugly things ‘the fold’ is brought to the internet/web design by print: Above the fold
Tell you what? There’re myriads of folds. That’s what we have to face. Nobody can really tell you what content of your website might be noticed by 99, 72.3 or even only 7% of your website’s visitors. If then there is only one reference to which you can orientate yourself:
Where’s the ‘fold’? On the CEO’s laptop. – Jeffrey Zeldman
😉 Of course not. But people will still strive to get everything above the fold. So how can you solve or at least alleviate this? Wanting to place everything as high as possible has very little to do with the fold. This is simply about design principles. In this case: Hierarchy. And that’s where you can start.
Invite your stakeholders and requesters to discuss the importance of the elements of a site, the story it tells and the needs and goals of its users. You will see that it will then be easier for everyone to prioritize things. And then also realize that not everything can be placed on top.
In addition care about to give users shortcuts, e.g. links/buttons directing them to probably important pieces of content or offers. Also don’t forget to give users reasons to scroll: pick the relevant content and put it first, matching the users’ needs and interests, and tell crisp stories.
The fold then will piece by piece disappear underneath a fold. Maybe 😉
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