Life Below ‘The Fold’

Irish design­er Pad­dy Don­nel­ly, in a nice­ly-designed arti­cle, attempts to sub­vert the accept­ed wis­dom of the page fold:

The fold is one of those guide­lines that has been thrown about so much that it’s now become a ‘rule’ of web design (or maybe more appro­pri­ate­ly a ‘ball and chain’ of web design) with web design­ers blind­ly obey­ing with­out ques­tion…

If every­thing of excep­tion­al qual­i­ty is pushed upon the read­er at the begin­ning, once they start explor­ing and the rest of the site isn’t of the same cal­i­bre, they’re going to be let down.

I agree—scroll below the fold on most large-scale web sites, and the qual­i­ty dimin­ish­es as you move down the page. I don’t know if that’s because too much atten­tion is paid to ‘the fold’ myth, or because most web sites have a ver­ti­cal up-and-down ‘rail’ struc­ture… or, if we’re just bad design­ers.

Peo­ple scroll. Peo­ple read left-to-right. We should design for these rules.

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