What does Above The Fold Mean in Web Design?
In web design, above the fold refers to the section of a web page that is visible before a user scrolls further down. In this context, the fold is where the browser window ends. Anything you have to scroll down to view is classified as ‘below the fold’.
It’s a term that originates from the world of newspapers where content that appeared in the top half of the paper was referred to as ‘above the fold’ i.e. what passersby could see on the newspaper as it appeared on the newsstand.
First impressions matter. Then as now, the above the fold section was important in grabbing reader attention and enticing them to want to see more. It is what a web user sees first before they load the page. Due to its visibility, above the fold content is pivotal to achieving your business and website objectives. Ads, calls-to-action and other strategic elements placed in the above fold section generate more revenue than those placed below the fold.
How is Above the Fold Measured?
There is no exact position for where the above the fold section ends. It depends on screen sizes, screen resolutions, device types, browser plugins and installed toolbars. Many web designers consider the average fold placement as being 600 pixels tall and 1,000 pixels wide. The growing dominance of mobile devices in web browsing has increasingly complicated the concept given the considerable variations in screen sizes among mobile devices.
This is further compounded by responsive design that makes use of flexible layouts with content shifting in tandem with screen size. It does not negate the value of the above the fold concept but it does call for screen design that is more aligned to scrolling.