Let’s explore the above-the-fold web design concept and why it isn’t ideal anymore. Then we’ll discuss why websites have progressed and that, in turn, better engage your visitors. We’re not going to get too technical, don’t worry.
What is above-the-fold?
It’s the notion that as much content as possible should be at the top of a website so a visitor doesn’t have to scroll. This original concept came from newspapers, the aim being to put the most eye-catching image or story on the most visible part of the paper. This would lure readers into purchasing the paper and reading the rest of it. Not a bad theory except that many web designers adopted it and often meant cramming too much information “above-the-fold”. And, somehow, people are supposed to digest all this information and be engaged. Riiiight…
Developers have now moved away from above-the-fold web designs and are constantly mapping out new theories and techniques to keep up with technology. We have the coolest job on the planet, at least we think so! We’re creating virtual spaces that invite the masses to look with whatever device they choose. Smart devices have changed everything (sorry you already knew that
). Consumers now browse the Internet just as easily on their phone as with a desktop or laptop. And because everyone now lives on these smart devices we’re so used to scrolling and touching a screen to continue. That has played a big role in abandoning the notion of sticking everything at the top of a website. People are now used to scrolling, and designers aren’t fearful that a visitor is going to leave a page without seeing what’s down the page. This expands the canvas for how we can better communicate our message.
So that asks the question: Is your website mobile optimized?
Your visitors want to view your site while they’re perusing the aisles of Target, getting a coffee at Starbucks or while enjoying a margarita on the lake. Given the opportunity, they will scroll and click their way through your information and maybe even share it on Facebook and Tweet about it, but only if the website is equipped.