5 reasons to ditch the “Above the Fold” concept
Every now and again a gem of wisdom worth sharing comes our way. Paddy Donnelly, an Irish designer based in Belgium, has probably written the most important web design and online marketing article in a very long time. The “Above The Fold” concept is a ball-and-chain publishing idea that may have worked in the Y2K era, back when screen resolution was no wider than 1024px. That was over a decade ago. It’s time to move on.
“Imagine a newspaper squashed all of its quality content on the front page. How disappointed would you be to open the paper to only find the leftovers?”
- Paddy Donnelly, Life Below 600px
Below are 5 reasons that explain why designing websites and marketing online within the top 600px is not only bad design, it’s just plain wrong.
- There is no fold on the web – People fold paper not computer screens. The “fold” is a legacy concept from the newspaper days (well before the Internet).
- Information overload repels – The pundits will have us believe we have a mere 3 seconds to win over a new visitor. Information overload crammed into 600px will most definitely make visitors leave before the 3 seconds are up.
- Guidelines are guides, not rules – Everything has its place, guidelines are no different. Guides are meant to direct you, not remove your brain.
- Tell a story – Use the AIDA model as a guideline to tell your story. People love a good story and sales professionals have used AIDA for decades to do just that.
- People know how to scroll – It’s 2012… enough said…
I’ll leave you with Paddy’s closing remarks…
“Just put a bit of thought into creating quality content and presenting it in an interesting and readable way. This will make visitors stick around for a while and use that magic scroll button.”
What are your thoughts on the “Above The Fold” concept? Let us know below or on Twitter [@SterlingKlor].