Above the fold? Not Necessary.

by Joe Schaefer 2 Comments February 14, 2010

When I first started working for an agency (not Overit Media), the rule was ‘all key info had to reside above the fold’. The more I look into this 2 years or more later, the consensus shows (research-based) that this is no longer the case. Call it increased user-knowledge.

Website Content & the Fold

You’d have to live under a rock to not know that Internet use is growing exponentially. Even Facebook has a demographic growth rate that shows your mom, dad and maybe grandparents are hopping on and getting all social media on you.

So, it’s natural to think (and nice to know that usability is getting better) that people are generally becoming more savvy. Or, perhaps it’s something else like a collective knowledge cloud that has a usability silver-lining. In any event, packing the good website content stuff above the fold is no longer an unwritten rule.

When appropriate, important info can reside below the fold

In fact, key information can go below as long as design, website content and development help lead the user to scroll. We as regular Internet users come to expect to see the scroll bar like its second-nature, but so have a whole bunch of regular ole Joe’s. That doesn’t mean that we can now go all about it all willy-nilly, hopefully you don’t take it that way.

Keeping calls to action (and a rule of thumb being: little web content = 2 to 3 CTAs and a lot of web content having 5 to 6) up above would still be a good idea in my opinion, but if you’re referring back to my rules of thumb, it’s probably okay to get some of those below the fold.

Are we good? Great!

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