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There is no fold

Fascinating data from a company called Clicktale regarding whether users scroll below the fold or not on web pages. Clicktale has some magic that records user sessions using your website and can replay them to provide usability data. Cool. This looks like the next best thing to eyetracking all your visitors.

Their conclusions:

  • Don't try to squeeze your web page and make it more compact. There is little benefit in squeezing your pages since many visitors will scroll down below the fold to see your entire page.
  • Since visitors will scroll all the way to the bottom of your web page, make life easier for them and divide your layout into sections for easy scanning.
  • Minimize your written text and maximize images, visitors usually don't read text - they scan web pages.
  • Encourage your visitors to scroll down by using a cut-off layout.

When AOL acquired ICQ, the AOL designers tried to get the ICQ folks to shorten their pages. AOL usability guidelines forbid scrolling, but ICQ had pages that went on for miles and miles. They were crazy and just never ended, but their users obviously loved the service and loved the feel around the whole product so it worked for them. I've seen debates around how long pages should "optimally" be still being played out on design blogs. Nice to see some real user data about how sites are actually being used.

Browser: Do not try and find the fold. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.
Designer: What truth?
Browser: There is no fold.
Designer: There is no fold?
Browser: Then you'll see, that it is not the fold that matters, it is only yourself.

Comments (1)



You teach me something new all the time. Now about that database order I need to close before the end of the quarter :)

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