ICAN is seeking a User Experience (UX) Designer to join our growing web design and development...2nd October
I have been asked this a lot and it is usually followed up by “I want everything above the fold”. Where the fold starts can be a tough question to answer because it depends on your user’s browser, what toolbars they have enabled, size of the window they have open, screen resolution and monitor size.
The first step should be to look at your analytics. Site analytic tools like Google Analytics capture screen resolutions used by your actual users. Using this data you can decide on an acceptable page fold for your website design. Google also offers a useful service that visually demonstrates where the fold appears for users, this data is based on the window size of visitors to Google websites.
Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold so its critical that your most important information is here. Start by prioritising your content and ordering it on the page according to that priority. Spacing, size and colour can also be used to help emphasise important information. Word of caution, If everything is shouting, nothing is heard, so stick to your priorities. Everything doesn’t have to be above the fold though, web users do scroll but they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold. So, ensure any important items below the fold are visually eye catching and make sure people know the page doesn’t stop at the page fold by using imagery and text that continues below the page fold to persuade users to scroll.
Jacob Nielsen, 2010, http://www.useit.com/alertbox/scrolling-attention.html