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Above the Fold: Why Limiting Your Design is Actually a Hindrance

Did anyone ever look at your web design mockup and say, “Can you move this and this so that it’s above the fold?” Well, as a designer, I say, “Think twice before you start moving everything above the fold.”

The concept actually comes from the newspaper industry. The most compelling stories were placed above the fold to make them more appealing on the newsstand with the ultimate goal of encouraging people to buy the paper and read the rest of the story.*

However, a website isn’t a newspaper and consumers’ behavior when visiting a website is significantly different than that of an individual reading a newspaper. With the increasing usage of mobile devices to view the web, consumers have actually adapted to scrolling.

The mistake with web design is that people want to jam too much on the top for fear that no one will keep reading or will click through their site. Instead of worrying about staying “above the fold”, spend time creating quality content and adding graphics that will entice the user to keep reading. Remember if something is interesting, your immediate reaction will be to scroll, trust me.

Things to remember:

  1. Remember the ‘above the fold’ concept is just a guide- it doesn’t mean that it’s a must.
  2. Less is more.
  3. Create quality content and add graphics that will be interesting and have an impact.
  4. Make sure the interesting content that is added to the top is sprinkled through out the page as well to keep the user engaged.
  5. Think outside the box.
  6. Finally, think twice about the concept of the fold! After all why would you want to limit your design?

*Life Below 600px