Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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What is Above the Fold?

The fold is the line on the newspaper that divides the part seen on the newsstand and the part that is not seen.
The fold marks the bottom of the newspaper or the website that is seen as a first impression by the reader. If the area above the fold doesn't attract the person reading it, the reader will just move onto something that is interesting.


By Douglas Krantz

The first part of any webpage seen by the readers is above the fold. This is the first impression area of a webpage: the area of a webpage that makes or breaks a whole website.

Interest

"Above the Fold" means the area above the fold on page one; it's a newspaper term.

At the newsstand or convenience store, before picking it up, it's the only area of the newspaper visible to the potential buyer. Unless a person is interested enough to pick up the paper, nothing else in the newspaper is ever seen.

Because this is the only space available to get the reader's attention, "Above the Fold" is the only space available to attract the reader.

Web Page

Web pages are like that. When the webpage first pops up, above the fold is the only area of a website visible on the screen. It's the only area that the webmaster can use to catch the viewer's attention.

Give the Reader What the Reader Came For

Some people call these landing pages. These are attraction pages: pages on the website that are designed to attract the unknown reader.

The most important part of any attraction page is above the fold:
Yes, have a banner across the top; show the reader who you are

Yes, have a sidebar; show the reader what's on other pages on the website

Yes, have a navigation bar; guide the reader to the rest of the website

But above all, display to the reader at least some of what the reader came for:

Above the Fold

A web page can attract readers, but the readers need to see "above the fold" what attracted them to the webpage.

First impressions count. So the people viewing don't go elsewhere right away, they need to see what they came for.
Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer

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