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Above the Fold

One of the key ideas in traditional newspaper layout is to keep the lead story "above the fold". Newspapers are folded to be displayed efficiently on newsstands and in newspaper boxes, so it's important that the highlighted stories of the day appear above that fold, to grab people's attention.


The same theory holds true for website design. When we're considering user experience and trying to avoid short bounce rates (how quickly people leave our site), we need to make sure that visitors have clarity and are intrigued by our product or service, without having to scroll. The scroll is essentially the modern "fold".


On the many websites I've reviewed, this is a common issue I see. There are no hard and fast rules, and we all know rules are made to be broken, but if a visitor to your site has to scroll repeatedly to find out what you do, chances of them sticking around to do so are slim. To avoid this, I usually suggest 2 things:

  1. Include a tagline or descriptor that indicates the key purpose of your business, including the location if that's pertinent to your potential clients.

  2. Immediately below your key image on the homepage (assuming that's at the top), add a more detailed description of the business that clearly explains what problem you solve, how you'll improve your customers' lives and what steps your customer needs to take to connect with or purchase from you.

A good example of this is Whispering Springs Glamping Resort in Ontario. They've indicated their business name and what they do in the banner copy and added a call to action that is clear and links to what customers need to do. Below that, they've included a brief, but clear description of what visitors can expect and what they'll get out of their experience. They've also indicated where they are. Continue to scroll and you get more information about the specific categories of experiences.






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