Staying ‘Above the Fold’ and Ahead of the Crowd

Often we hear clients asking that their most important content be at the top of the website so that clients do not have to scroll down in order to view their information. This is referred to as being ‘above the fold,’ an old newspaper term that describes how newspaper editors used to place the most important information on the first half of the top page so that when they were folded in half, this information would be visible.

Do Clients Only Read Half Your Page?

In terms of website design, the term tends to refer to using the top half of the main page to display the most important content so that clients do not have to scroll down. There were two main reasons for this in the past. First of all, computer monitors used to have a 1024×768 pixel format which means that there was roughly 600 px of room for the content at the top of the page without having to scroll down. Second of all, many website viewers would simply not scroll down in the past and browse away from the page if they were not satisfied with what they saw on the first half of the page.

Times have changed and this is a good thing for clients and website designers. It means that we don’t actually have to stay ‘above the fold’ or within the first 600 px of the page anymore. Research indicates that more and more people are using computer monitors nowadays with a much higher screen resolution which means more space to work with. In fact, while in 2005 over 80 percent of computer owners were using a screen resolution of 1024×768 or lower, nowadays 85 percent of computer owners are using a screen resolution higher than 1024×768.

A New Generation of Computer Users

Furthermore, the internet and the way that people use their computers has also changed drastically. People are more aware of how to navigate through pages, where to find the key information and what to look for. What this means is that there is less of a need to work ‘above the fold’ when looking into website design. This gives website designers and graphic designers more space to play and more room for creativity and individuality in websites.

So what does this mean for your clients? It means you have more space to play. While ensuring that your content is easy to find, you don’t want to put your customers off with a tacky design where all the graphics are shoved at the bottom corner. You want the keep the reader interested enough to actually stroll down and read through all your details and information. With the right website design and SEO coding, this is what we aim to do each and every time.