Above the Fold: To Scroll or Not to Scroll

This is often because someone told them that users don’t know to scroll down on a web page and that content “below the fold” will never be seen. So we wanted to clear up the confusion on this subject.

First, what does “above the fold” mean? It’s a term that originated in newspaper advertising. Newspapers are folded in half, so the prime real estate on the paper, which is reserved for top headlines is above the fold line. Readers have to flip the paper over to see the other headlines. In website terms, “above the fold” refers to the part of the page that can be seen without having to scroll down.

What’s the problem with scrolling? This is the part that’s not as black and white as some people believe. In the early days of the web, usability studies showed that users did not scroll down so if important content was below the fold, then it was never seen and the website’s success would be greatly limited. This was back in the 90s.

Fast forward to now. Now that the web is not so new anymore, and people actually know how it works, scrolling is not as much of an issue. Users know how to use the scroll wheel.

However, eye tracking studies still show that users tend to spend more time focusing on the top of the page. So what that tells us, is that you should still keep the most important information, such as your “Call to Action,” above the fold, where it will be easily spotted. But it’s ok if people need to scroll down a little to read the rest of an article, or browse your product catalogue, etc.

As we said before, this is not a black and white issue, and we hope that this will clear up any confusion.

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