Above the Fold–Hot or Not?
As I was compiling a list of my favorite web trends from 2011, I started to become more and more intrigued in the Above the Fold rule in web design and its importance in converting visitors to customers.
What is Above the Fold and how does it impact your online business? Above the Fold is a design concept that advises you to post all the most important information and images in the upper half of your website, viewable in one screen, without users having to scroll down. Like a newspaper that is designed to drive readers to buy their newspaper their hottest headlines are always listed in the upper portion of their paper. I think we would all agree that the concept works for newspapers but does it work for web sites?
Well, you decide.
Here are 3 web sites that pass the Above the Fold rule:
3. Viera Realty
And, here are 5 web sites that do not pass the Above the Fold rule:
5. Calvin Klein
Which do you prefer? Why do some have higher conversion rates than others? Are there some that clearly fail the Above the Fold rule but are still engaging and keep customers reading? I say yes, while the Above the Fold is a useful guide for web designers it is not the only rule to follow.
Here are my must-haves to keeping your web site design looking great this season:
1. Choose words and images that draw the reader in. Less is more.
2. Balance the harmony of your space and avoid cluttering it with lots of text and images.
3. Choose 2-3 colors for the home page and avoid the standard blacks, grays and whites unless you are in the entertainment industry.
4. Make sure that if your users do have to scroll down to see the full page that it tells a story. Each section should have its own purpose but share a connection with the rest of page. Let the reader feel like they are unwrapping a new layer of info.
5. Showcase a clear call to action for your readers to know what the next step is. It’s amazing how many designers forget to add Call Now, Schedule an Appointment, Sign up or Buy Now buttons on their home page. Try two buttons–above the fold and below the fold and see how it works with your next design.
Written by: Erika Rossi Raia, Right Brain Media