When a web design team sits down to begin the development of a website, one of the first steps they will take is creating a wireframe for the layout of the homepage. This first page is usually the most important and quite often the most visited page on your website. This means that a lot of thought and planning will go into the layout. Most visitors will make a split-second decision when they land on a website whether they want to continue browsing the site or if they are going to go back to Google and select the next search result.
This quite often means that many visitors can be won or lost before anyone has even begun to scroll down your homepage. That initial view of the page that shows up in the browser on your computer or your smartphone is considered Above The Fold. The term is left over from the days of newspapers when someone would look at top of a folded paper and decide if the information was interesting enough for them to purchase. So too with your website do your visitors make a decision based on what’s “Above the Fold” on whether or not they want to continue browsing your site.
Above the Scroll or Above the Fold, It All Means the Same Thing
Above The Fold is a web design tactic targeted towards those that don’t know your online publication in order to grab their attention enough to continue on into your site. Now, just like many different newspapers, they can approach this very differently.
- Sensationalism: A cool image or motion graphic that draws the viewer in or that the viewer finds irresistible enough that they can’t help but continue browsing the site, regardless of whether or not they feel that they have reached a site that will provide the information for which they were looking.
- Straight to the Point: Simple and uncluttered, the Above the Fold content is a direct answer to the most commonly searched for term relating to their visitors’ queries. In the case of well-known brands, the logo will be prominently placed and the content will feature the latest in their offerings.
- Overwhelming: This Above The Fold strategy stuffs as many related items into that content as possible to provide the user with a certainty that what they are seeking will be found here somewhere and that they have reached the right destination.
Consider the Strategy in Your Website Layout and Design
The technical aspects of Above The Fold theory are fairly simple. Let the person know they have reached the right place and entice them to continue on. These days most websites have opted for increasingly longer home pages. This provides a web page with the opportunity to tell the story of your organization so long as the user continues on down the page. Trying to get all of your company information above the fold can result in an information overload for your visitor.
What you want to do is have them continue browsing the page in order to be introduced to new elements of your business and allow them to take it all in at their own speed. Once on your site, you want them to continue on to Below The Fold. The most common way to do this is the use of a teaser. This is simply an intentional element of the design where we do not want to fit the first feature neatly into the space that is Above The Scroll, whether it be a static image or scrolling slider. The next feature below it will actually be cut off and begs the user to scroll down to see this next area -which also does not perfectly fit into this area and reveals only a part of the next feature below.
Since such a high percentage of visitors stop scrolling down before they reach the bottom of the home page, this theory of design draws a visitor in and keeps them engaged. Keeping people on your site and making sure they find what they need should be two of your main objectives.
These tactics and many other techniques have upsides and downsides. Whether you are turning someone away because they feel your site is too much flash and not enough content or the user experience feels too wordy and dry, there is no pleasing everyone. Knowing your potential customer will help you to make decisions on how to best impact your site’s visitors.
Contact TheeHouston.Agency for Expert Web Designs Today
Navigating the above or below the fold debate doesn’t need to be done on your own. Expert web designs are just a phone call away, give us a call at 281-764-9070.