I still get this question from a wide range of people I speak with about web design: "Don't you think this, this, this, this and this, need to be ‘above the fold’? And specifically from photographers, “So and so says that all the images should be ‘above the fold.’ What do you think?”.

Well … yes and no.

Honestly it really depends on numerous factors including goals (per page), goals of your website (the whole), content relationships, data (if you have it) and much more. There isn't one holy grail answer for everyone.

Focusing on "the fold" as a discussion topic of its own is a major diversion away from important discussions such as:

  • How do we structure content to convert our visitors/users?
  • What actions do we want visitors/users to take?
  • What types of content show our expertise and authority?
  • What is our story and how can that be used to connect with our visitor/user?
  • How do we connect with our visitors/users to take that action?
  • Who is makes up our audience? Who do we want to reach?

(If you didn't notice, I was working backwards on purpose with those questions.)

Generally speaking though there really is no fold. Consider the sheer volume of products (via Luke Wroblewski) that can be used to access web pages. It is astounding. So concise, engaging, clear communication has more value in discussions than "the fold".

And, earlier this year, according to Search Engine Watch, mobile (especially for research) has taken over the desktop/laptop. It's important to remember that not everyone is like you; that not everyone has the device you have.

People scroll and Welch Canavana web developer at National Geographic has done us a huge favor by compiling this excellent Storify about "the persistent myth of 'the fold'". (Thanks Welch!)

Read it, click on the links, share it with your web designer, developer, managers and well, anyone who is involved in the production of websites.