Monthly Archives: September 2010

The (Myth?) of the Page Fold

Posted on September 8, 2010 by - Information Architecture, Usability, User Experience

While doing some contact-form redesign for a friend/colleague I noticed that a the majority of the sites he wanted me to work on were, um, severely cramped and top  heavy with very limited white-space.

He explained that his boss was adamant that everything needed to be above the fold,  so he was forced to “squeeze” the design to insure that everything was visible above ~700 pixels.

Simply packing tons of information and functionality with little or no white-space or context didn’t seem to be the best solution to the “fold problem”.

I found a few illuminating articles that, in very general terms, agree that:

  1. vital content/functionality should be above the fold,  that
  2. users are not afraid to scroll, and that
  3. it is easier for the user to scroll than to decide whether to click thru to another page

I’m not completely convinced yet, but UK based cx partners declare that, based on the results of over 800 user test results, the page fold is a myth. They claim that only 3 times in 800 tests did the page fold barrier prevent users from getting the content they were looking for.