“Above The Fold” and Its Role in Modern Web Design

Everyone scrolls, so why are we so concerned with content above the page fold?

Sometimes concepts can evolve in such a way that they prevail throughout history and even across different mediums. “Above the fold” is one such concept that originated centuries ago in the newspaper industry and is more alive than ever in website design today. This concept is fundamental for web designers to grasp in order to understand the user behaviour of customers and help web page owners achieve their business goals. Fold content is based on the notion of placing the key information of a webpage in the first viewable screen within a browser window no matter which device type readers use so that it captivates the viewer and sets the tone for the page.

What Does “Above The Fold” Mean?

The term ‘above the fold’ has been around for a long time. It originates from the early days of publishing newspapers.

The Importance Of The Fold

The Nielsen Norman Group estimates that users spend 57% of their viewing time on content above the fold. They also estimate that the content below receives only 17% of users’ viewing time.

How The Fold Affects User Experience

If web users don’t find what they are looking for when the website first loads they will need to scroll down and search for it. Scrolling becomes that extra step that visitors need to do to accomplish their objectives.

Best Practices for Above The Fold Web Design

Now that we understand the fold, let’s look at what should be above or below the fold line to maximize our website design. Here are the five best web design practices to follow:

Should the Call-to-Action (CTA) Be Above Or Below The Fold?

Many studies have been done to determine the impact of CTA placement and if it matters whether you put them above versus below the fold.

Where To Place Ads

We now know that users tend to focus most of their attention on content that is above the fold. So, it is not unusual to think that for ads to garner more engagement, we should to place them above the fold.

Clear Headline Copy

One thing that will really boost engagement is to ensure that the main headline of your website communicates your primary message quickly. Your audience is probably busy and is looking for the quickest and most efficient way to reach their objective.

Encourage Users To Scroll

If you captivate your visitors with engaging content above the fold, they are more likely to scroll down and continue reading. This is because you’ve caught their interest and they’ll want to find out more.


When a visitor lands on your article, it should be easy for them to explore efficiently and in a systematic way. Incorporating intuitive and concise navigation is a great way for websites to achieve this.

Final Thoughts

The concept of above the fold still has a prominent place in the digital age, despite modifications over the years. The invention of mobile phones and never-ending screen sizes have failed to kill off this age-old philosophy.

Parachute Design Group Inc. is a boutique Toronto web design agency specializing in beautiful hand-made website design, custom logo design and branding.