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The Long Scroll - Ditching the “Fold” and Knowing When to Stop Scrolling

What is “Above the Fold?”

Most people aren’t aware that initial, early website designs were modeled after newspaper layouts. When someone says “above the fold” what it refers to is the newspaper being folded in half on the newsstand. The best placement for advertisements and images in newspapers was on the top half of the fold, so that they would show prominently. Thus, this space became the most sought-after real estate.

When website designs were first being developed, the idea was that the best opportunity to grab your audience was to put your best images and content “above the fold” on the website. However, we know we can’t put all relevant content and images on the top of the homepage, and we also know that the tolerance for scrolling has increased.

The reason audiences have become more accepting of the need to scroll on a website is that there is relevant content further down the page, and they recognize and come to expect that. As long as there is relevant and engaging content, there is a willingness to scroll.

How Much Scrolling is Too Much?

While the general tolerance for scrolling has increased, it comes with a price. As long as the content remains relevant and engaging, the scrolling will continue. But, once you get off track, or add content that isn’t relevant to what your audience is looking to engage in, then it’s become too much, and the audience disengages.

A great rule of thumb is to make sure you have linkable titles toward the top of the page. This way, your audience can choose what to read without the opportunity to loose interest and leave (which can drive up your bounce rate).

Another good rule: keep the content limited to what has attracted your audience in the first place. As we know, a website can be 1-100 pages, with different topics on every page. Remember, the goal in attracting your audience is to peak their interest with digital advertising, follow through with that information when they click to your site, and engage them until they reach out for more information via your call-to-action.

To learn more about great website user experience practices, design and more, call us at 720-221-7126 and chat with us about how we can help enhance your site!

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