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Everyone Scrolls. Why Above the Fold Websites Don’t Exist.

“Above the fold”– it is the most coveted area on the website. The fold is the portion of the website that allows you to view it without scrolling. However, in modern society, the concept of the fold is difficult to pin down.

When referencing newspapers, above the fold was literally the information that displayed on the paper above where it was folded. This area was used to grab the attention of viewers in order to encourage them to buy the paper and get the rest of the data inside. Strong headlines and images attracted readers and held their interest.But this is not how websites work.

So where is the “fold” on a website? Because of the popularity of mobile and tablet devices and the increase in desktop screen sizes, the content that shows up on your site before you scroll down, “above the fold”,can vary widely depending on which device you open it on. Since it can vary widely every case, there is no general rule for the location of the fold.

The best thing you can do for your company is to make the website as usable as possible on as many devices as possible. The top portion of the website is still the most valuable real estate and the user experience should reflect that. Your logo, site navigation, any important call to actions should be above the fold. But, it is crucial to have a good balance between this concept and the basics of good usability.

Do not try to jam every piece of information above the fold. Group your content together into manageable sections and spread them out with proper emphasis given to the different sections. This helps promote easy skimming and scanning. Just like an introductory paragraph, the information at the top of the website should be a preview of the rest of the page.

The fold will never disappear as a concept, but when it comes to website design, it is important we learn how to use it properly. With so many different devices and resolutions, the fold differs far too much to be relied upon regularly. It’s 2014, your users know how to scroll. Electronics are configured to make scrolling easier than ever. Users expect to scroll on the web. By making sure to place only the most important elements above the fold, you can find a better balance between usability and getting enough data to show up “above the fold”.

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