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  • Above the fold

Jargon Busters – Above / Below The Fold

03 November 2015

What it is:

A fairly old term in web design, the ‘fold’ refers to the point at which you have to scroll- so Above the Fold is everything you see when you land on a web page without scrolling, and Below the Fold consists of everything you see after scrolling down.

It is often used as a marker for determining the hierarchy of information when designing a web page.

It’s a term poached from print newspapers (remember those things?), where the most important stories and headlines would appear above the halfway fold in the paper, to ensure they’re seen by people browsing.

 

When it works:

Any time before 2006.

In seriousness, there’s been a lot of talk in the past few years about whether above the fold web design is still relevant. It’s widely accepted in the age of tablets that people scroll, so cramming all your information in the top section of your page comes across less ‘efficient’ design, more ‘excited and messy’ design.

Having said that, landing pages that are heavy with information should have at least a prompt of more to see below the fold, to provide a little more encouragement for scrolling.

It’s only polite.