And where is the fold, anyway?
Does the fold still matter?
“Above the fold” has always meant the first screen of a web page. That’s the virtual equivalent of being on the top of the page — and that’s the front page — of a newspaper.
And, while the fold has moved, it still matters a lot — especially on mobile.
Where do web visitors look?
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, web visitors spend:
- 57% of their page-view time on the first mobile screen
- 17% on the second
That means they spend:
- 74% on the first two screens
- 26% on all remaining screens
That’s not much real estate. After all, content that shows up above the fold on a 30-inch monitor can take as many as five screens on a 3.5-x-6.5-inch smartphone.
So why do people look so much more often at the top screens?
Because scrolling takes effort. And people don’t want to apply much effort online.
Which paragraphs do they see?
Here’s another way to look at it, according to Kara Pernice, Kathryn Whitenton and Jakob Nielsen, authors of How People Read on the Web.
On a page with four or more paragraphs, visitors look at the:
- First paragraph: 81% of the time
- Second: 71% of the time
- Third: 63% of the time
- Fourth: 32% of the time
So how can you put your message where your web visitors’ eyes are?