Does “Above the Fold” Matter Anymore?

Posted on in Blog

Yes, the concept behind the old newspaper term, above the fold, is relevant in web design today and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

To many web design professionals, the term has become outdated due to the evolution of modern web design and the dedicated focus on user experience. With that said this is still a phrase that comes up with clients and the importance of the concept needs to be discussed.

What Does “Above the Fold” Mean?

The term “above the fold” refers to newspaper design, where the content above the fold in the paper could be seen from newsstands, making it the most important part of the design.

However, in the digital world, there is no true “fold”, with varying screen sizes, so the term isn’t as relevant as it once was.

How to Design “Above the Fold”

When first approaching a website or landing page design you need to first figure out the screen size used by most of your users. This information can be found in Google Analytics or another analytics tool. Knowing the screen size that the majority of your visitors use to view your site allows you to design a site that works the best for the majority of your users. This content seen within a user’s screen when a page first loads is now considered content “above the fold”.

The most important thing to keep in mind when designing above the fold is to keep this area clear and concise. The best design does not try to cram everything above the fold – keep in mind that interested users are going to scroll to find additional information. Scrolling has become common, and you should design with that expectation in mind.

Does Your Form Have to Be Above the Fold?

Depending on what you’re offering, your form does not always need to be above the fold. The location of your form should be dictated by the amount of information a user needs to commit to a form fill.  

For example, if you’re looking to purchase a house, you will want to read through all the details of the home and see pictures before you’re willing to book an appointment to see the home. On the other side of things, if someone is looking for a handyman to come give an estimate on a project, your booking form can be above the fold because the user needs less information and is more likely to want to fill out the form sooner.

website design
This example focuses on getting potential franchise owners’ information over having a form fill immediately when the page loads.
website design
Since the purpose of this form is to get more information, the form is placed at the top of the page because there is little commitment to the user.

However, you should always aim to have some primary call-to-action higher up on the page, whether it’s a phone number, or a link to a form.

Modern Designers for Modern Audiences

We’ve been around for more than 20 years, meaning we’ve been rolling with the changes of website design for a while.

Looking for someone to design you the perfect website? Reach out online or contact us at (231) 922-9977.

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