Below the fold

I am always amazed when I hear people using the phrase ‘Below the Fold", because, until the advent of the Internet, most people wouldn’t have know what that meant, as it was always a newspaper phrase, referring to the  area above where the paper folded in half. So, above the fold was the part you could see when the paper was in it’s dispenser. The point was to make the most important stuff there, to entise people to read further (and buy the paper).

The thing that reminded me of this, other than the fact that lately clients have been asking for information to be above the fold, despite the fact that every computer screen is different and there is no fold per se, was when I was pointed to this article on it. Her conclusion is that there is no fold. That people know what a scroll bar is, and they are willing to read down the page.

And I totally agree with it. People do know how to scroll down a page. I had this discussion with a client recently who had a bunch of information that she wanted to get put into an elast (a html email sent out to a lot of people). She was promoting a conference and said the that speakers were what sold the conference. Well, it was a very long speaking list, and there was no way to get it all ‘above the fold". In fact, there were more names than copy. I finally told her it could not be done, and that she was just going to have to trust that people would scroll down the email.

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