"Above the Fold" No More. For many years web designers have touted the necessity to keep important information on a website home page “above the fold” with the rationale that users don’t like to scroll. However, the technique of piling content “above the fold” doesn't apply anymore as users have become savvy to the ease and efficiency of scrolling. Scrolling now takes precedent over clicking.
So what does “ above the fold ” mean?
The design term “above the fold” refers to the top part of a newspapers front page where the most juicy news story and photo is placed. The web has adapted this term when talking about a websites Home page. Same principles, different medium.
The idea morphed into a false guideline for web designers: never put anything important below the fold or no one will read it.
Site users are now more likely to scroll down the Home page looking for concise information on what the website can offer them first rather than click through to an internal website page.
Heat mapping and eye tracking studies have since busted the myth of the page fold, showing no significant change in conversion stats, ROI or click-through rates; meaning jamming content at the top of the page does not have the desired effect.
A Scrolling Home Page: How To
1. Keep design clutter free
Your website users are going to be spending more time on your home page, make that a pleasant experience. Clear, concise design allows users to find the information they're looking for quickly and efficiently.
2. Tease your readers
We don't mean make fun of them, but give readers a taste of what content is waiting for them before they scroll down. Images or text can be peeking up from the bottom of the viewing screen, enticing users to explore.
3. Make your design flow
Your website should tell a story. The climax prompts readers to take an action such as calling for a quote or visiting the store. Though the end goal can differ across websites, the following common design principles always help user flow:
- Utilizing white space
- Concise, easily digested copy
- Simple, clear navigation
4. More than one Call to Action
Now that we know users are more than happy to scroll down your home page for more information, it’s time to utilize that space effectively with multiple calls to action. This means giving users the opportunity to take action without having to scroll back up.
Do away with “the fold”. Your website Home page design should give users a quick snapshot of what you do and what you want them to do while on your site.