Unfold the Fold

The concept of "the fold", the vertical cut off point at which further content on a web page can only be reached by scrolling, has long been a factor that dictates web design.

It's a common client request that we as web designers endeavor to include as much as possible above the fold. But have we taken a moment to consider whether users are happy to scroll up and down a page and also how consistent is "the fold" point from one computer to the next?

Well a post on the ClickTale blog tries to answer these questions with supporting statistics from 120,000 page views. Firstly, the position of the fold varies depending on screen resolution, browser window size, browser version/type and browser toolbars so it's pretty much impossible to actually pin-point the exact position where "the fold" occurs. This therefore makes designing a page to fit a clients fold somewhat pointless.

Secondly, the post demonstrates that the vast majority of users do scroll to the very bottom of pages. This I believe is largely due to the ease with which scrolling can be performed with the current generation of scroll wheel mice, it's no longer a chore. So there you have it the fold is definitely unfolded!

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Michael Walsh by Michael Walsh