Ignore the Fold

(I should probably consider just forwarding this blog over to Luke W’s site. Every time he posts I want to write about it!)

The “fold” is one of those web concepts that just won’t die. Unlike some of my other colleagues, I think that’s for pretty good reason–even though what constitutes above or below the fold changes with the myriad of devices out there, the general idea that something at the top of the screen will be the most viewed feels obvious. Obviousness doesn’t equal rightness, but it’s easy to see why idea carries on.

Much like the concept of banner blindness (where visitors ignore banner-like components of a page), this research further shows that users adapt to route around the impediments we put in their way. That the user begins to scroll before the page has loaded is especially interesting. Unlike ignoring ad banners, this shows users have almost built muscle memory to scroll first and ask questions later.

From Chartbeat:

…we see that just under 70% of visitors saw the very top of the page they were viewing.

They’re not even waiting for your hero image to load before skipping it.

As with any user research, this may or may not apply to your particular customer base. There are a number of analytics tools available to help you track how users scroll on your site. It’s not really something I’ve considered valuable before, and it really makes me think:

What else am I not thinking to measure?

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