Make your website work harder!
Posted By Peppermint Soda
For those who don’t know about ‘the fold’, it’s a term adopted from newspapers, where a story positioned over the fold of the newspaper would attract more readers, compared to a story which would be hidden until the newspaper was unfolded. The term, now widely used in web design, reflects content that is positioned on-screen when a page loads.
So now you know what the fold is… forget about it!
The fold of a website doesn’t really exist anymore; this is mainly due to the number of browsers, screen sizes and screen resolutions available on the market today – it’s now relatively impossible to cater your website to everybody’s ‘fold’. For example, the most common resolution for a screen is ‘1366 x 768’; this caters to 19.51% of the world’s audience. Tailor your website to this resolution and you’ve got a good chance that the 80 per cent of the other resolutions won’t see your website exactly as you want them to!
Sounds like a lose: lose situation doesn’t it? Don’t panic though – with the right amount of planning, you can make sure that you hit all of your target audience and create a beautiful website too. User Experience (or UX for short) is one of the most important parts of planning a website. First things first, you need to make sure that you’re catering to your visitors’ needs. After all, they’re the ones using the website, not you.
Think about your information hierarchy, the messages you want to communicate to your audience and how important they are. Number them from 1-10 – this will give you a good idea of where your information should be on your homepage. Soon you’ll see whether you’re offering too much information up-front and how the page can lead onto more important information. A study into how people scroll on websites by the Software Usability Research Laboratory showed that users could read long, scrolling websites faster than paginated ones, proving that people have become accustomed to scrolling.
Finally, one piece of advice we’ve all been offered at some point; ‘don’t give it up too quickly’. Teasing your audience into the website will help to ease your visitors into scrolling for more information. You’ll no longer have to cram your information ‘above the fold’ and your website will be able to breath, giving you the opportunity to create beautiful scrolling websites that excite your visitors.
Callum Smith, account manager