The Art of The Fold

The term “above the fold,” carried-over from the print world, refers to everything seen before the fold in the newspaper. In web design, its meaning is virtually the same, referring to the first screen of content. Basically, if you can see it without scrolling, it’s above the fold.

Why should you care about this? For the same reason newspapers care, you want people to buy your newspaper read your entire blog post. When a user lands on your website (whether they’re coming from a search engine, social bookmarking site, etc) they see what’s above the fold. If something doesn’t grab their attention, what’s to stop them from leaving immediately? Nothing. In fact, it happens quite frequently. When the average web user loads your site, they see the first screenful and decide whether or not they want to stay in less than one second. Based off your design, your logo, headlines, photos, etc. they decide quickly whether your site fits their needs. Yeah, that sucks.

Of course, not everyone does that. Some people, instead, read what’s above the fold and decide. Still others, like me, read the entire article they land on, or if it’s not a post page, scan the page for items of interest.
What can you do to keep people from leaving without even reading anything?

  • Get a cool design and logo.
  • Write good headlines and content.
  • Use interesting photos to illustrate your articles.

Keep those three things in mind. To help with my point, here are some examples of good above-the-fold content.

These are just a few examples. Experiment.