Like most things in life, design is forever evolving. Take traditional letterpress printing for example, a beautiful combination of machinery and type that has long been superseded by the computer.
When referring to letterpress, the newspaper springs to mind, which is how the term ‘above the fold’ first came about. Newspapers were often folded with the top half facing upwards. This section held the most important content, and was used to entice potential readers to purchase.
When the notion of the fold first entered the world of web design, it was used to describe the portion of the website visible without having to scroll. In 2005, the typical screen resolution was 1024 pixels by 768 pixels and the fold was positioned about 600 pixels down the page. But things evolve, and while this fold might have worked in the past, it may not be as critical with modern large displays.
Now with tablets and mobile devices being commonplace, with much smaller displays that can be browsed portrait or landscape, the challenge of where the fold lays becomes blurrier than ever.
Recent surveys suggest that the majority of viewers now scroll happily and easily, and although using traditional design and marketing techniques should never be ruled out, it’s also vital to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape.
It’s important to find effective ways to lead the viewer below the fold. Employ the use of story telling to lead viewers to relevant information, rather than cramming content into the immediately visible areas. Effective communication starts with a clear and concise message. Try not to overwhelm with lots of information, instead encourage users to dig deeper and take advantage of white space to avoid content fighting for attention.
At Deuce Creative we feel that good web design is not constrained by where the fold sits. Responsive design, which adapts to fit a multitude of displays, has become the evolution of the fold.
Why not speak to us and see how we can help unfold your website?