In the past, I’ve been a staunch defender of the idea that “the fold” is an outdated concept in web design. I celebrated this article on the subject, which essentially boils down to the fact that website users know how to scroll and will scroll, given enough visual cues that there is additional content on the page.
However, I’d like to add another guideline regarding the fold:
“Make sure that each page’s primary function is at least partially visible above the fold.”
I was recently tasked with redesigning the contact page for Polar Leasing (a refrigerator rental company), because the marketing director had a hunch that something wasn’t right.
On the original page, the contact form is pretty far down the page, after the general contact info. My theory is that the user would scroll past the Flash header until he or she saw the company phone number or live chat, and then either use one of those contact methods or leave the page. Because there weren’t any visual cues hinting at a contact form below, most users weren’t even aware of it.
The fold for 1024 x 768 users was originally just below the “Find your state representative” link; now it’s just below the comments field on the contact form.
By increasing the prominence of the page’s primary function, I increased the conversion rate of this page by a significant margin. What are your thoughts? Do you have any examples of similar “fold redesigns” or realignments of purpose?Connect with me on Google+