Monday, January 04, 2010

Above The Fold

Some places I have worked, the usability experts have sworn by keeping all content above the fold. It was one of those golden rules that simply could not be violated. Entire websites were designed (or re-designed) with this goal in mind and often the end product was an eyesore. Yet all the content that mattered was above the fold just as the experts had decreed.

I had long wondered about this conundrum. Read an article recently that does an amazing job of explaining why this happens and also why this whole "over the fold" business is more than a little over-rated. Specially loved the design tips the author provides to encourage scrolling. 

Goes to prove that becoming dogmatic about anything including technology is not a good idea. It simply closes the door to fresh, new ways of thinking and forces a certain type of solution for all problems irrespective of the fit.

1 comment:

LIFE_REFACTORED said...

Well, there is no such thing as one size isn't it? For some sites, page-fold rule may hold just good and for others maybe not.
If we can avoid page fold, why not? If we have a compelling design that uses page-fold again, why not?
I believe that public sites where people come looking for specific information best work if the content above page-fold has the summary of the content that's below the page fold.
Some sites just fill up the content above page fold with big annoying flash that hides the content behind. They really do not help.