Using Above the Fold Web Design

Using Above the Fold Web Design_01

The concept of above the fold design has been around for a very long time. Above the fold actually means above where a newspaper is folded, that is where you can find the headline. There have been some famous above the fold headlines over the years “Dewy Defeats Truman”, “WAR!” and “Men Walk on Moon”; all were attention-grabbing headlines. That is the idea with above the fold web design, to grab the readers attention right away. We have all seen the numerous studies that show that you have anywhere from five to fifteen seconds to grab a user’s attention.

Believe it or not, the same sort of thought went into above the fold design during the industrial revolution. A headline had to jump out at the reader from the newsstand and make them interested enough to purchase it. In the same way above the fold design in websites should make a visitor want to read on. Some concepts make the jump from one form of media to another, and that is the case with above the fold design.

Where is the Fold on a Website?

Obviously, there is no physical fold on your company’s website, the fold, in this case, is the bottom of a users screen. In fact, the entire screen which first appears to a user is considered above the fold because the user can scroll down to read additional content. This method applies to mobile devices as well; chances are that most of your websites visits will come from a mobile device, so make sure that when designing your website it is also optimized for mobile devices. Just like a laptop or CPU, a mobile device will need to display in bold type of your above the fold headline, if your website is not optimized for mobile content, the entire headline may not fit on a mobile device’s screen.

The Importance of Above the Fold Design

In 2017 Google performed a study which showed that the amount of time the average user will wait for a webpage to load is just three seconds. Make sure that you test your website’s speed and make adjustments if it is too slow. It does no good to have great above the fold design. To really understand how brief that is count to three to yourself; you will see how quick three seconds. Your website has to grab the customer’s attention immediately, and that is where above the fold design is so valuable. Studies have show that a user spends the majority of time above the fold, so make sure that your headline is followed by useful and interesting information.

What Goes Into Good Above the Fold Design?

There are several things that should be kept in mind when designing above the fold on your homepage. These components of good above the fold design are essential to your website’s success.


Your website is not just selling your product or services; it is selling your brand identity. Be sure to include your company’s logo at the top of your homepage. After all, your customers should be able to recognize your logo immediately. Be sure that the logo is static or “sticky”, meaning that it will stay at the top of the page when a customer scrolls.

A Strong Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that in no uncertain terms lets a visitor to your website know who your company is and what it can do for them. In other words, it conveys your brand and at the same time, lets your customers know how you can make their lives better.

Appealing and Attention-Getting Graphics

Using vibrant colors and graphics that are in line with your branding is essential to keeping the customer on your site. Using things such as a impactful hero image or a video that plays in the background of your homepage are sure ways to get and keep a visitor’s attention. Be sure to keep the design clean and avoid clutter if you want perfect above the fold design; this will aid in the ease of navigation and a positive user experience.

 An Effective Call to Action

Finally, an effective call to action is standard for any website who is seeking to convert visitors into customers.  Place the CTA above the fold on your homepage and make sure to center it. Don’t use weak or negative language when composing your call to action.

Now you see why above the fold design has been around for hundreds of years and is likely to continue being used for some time to come.

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About the Author

Though his chief ambition is to one day control the entire Internet, Jim busies himself in the meantime running our little web development and marketing agency. He's a certified super nerd who ranks coding in old, outdated languages and watching Star Trek reruns just a bit too high on his list of fun things to do. Outside of work, Jim enjoys Hockey (Tampa Bay Lighning, to be specific), more genres of music than most people realize exist, riding his Harley (he calls it "two wheel therapy") and exploring the world through travel.