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Debunking the Mythical Internet Page Fold

The internet page-fold. A term from the newspaper industry that describes the first page of an issue. In recent years, it’s been used to describe the visible area of a user’s computer screen before needing to scroll down the page (aka the top half of a website). And it’s a complete myth.

I firmly believe that this entire ‘above-the-fold’ concept is a huge myth. The entire idea is something being held onto due to preconceived notions, with absolutely no data backing any of it up.

In our research, over 98% of internet users instinctively scroll down the page. It’s the second inherent behavior and point of interaction besides actually viewing the page. Nearly every mouse on the market has immense scrolling features, and in some places companies are innovating on specifically how to increase scrolling and touch-enabled gestures. The idea that people don’t scroll is absolutely ludicrous.

“Stop worrying about the fold. Don’t throw your best practices out the window, but stop cramming stuff above a certain pixel point. You’re not helping anyone. Open up your designs and give your users some visual breathing room. If your content is compelling enough your users will read it to the end.”

“The biggest lesson to be learned here is that if you use visual cues (such as cut-off images and text) and compelling content, users will scroll to see all of it. The next great frontier in web page design has to be bottom of the page. You’ve done your job and the user scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page because they were so engaged with your content.”- Milissa Tarquini

The top half of a website, so commonly referred to during ‘page-fold’ myth discussions
Image Credit

As with most of the research done to back this up, it’s been proven that having content poke or peek up above the “fold” is most successful, entirely due to enticing the user to scroll and discover more content. The one use case that increases interaction and content discovery, is actually based around one of the most natural motions of interacting online. What a surprise. People actually scroll.

There’s a lot of wonderful articles specifically pertaining to debunking the internet page-fold. These are real-world use case scenarios backed by research, usage results and actual data.
Click the search bar below to see some of them.