When it comes to web design, there has historically been a fair amount of hand-wringing about keeping everything on the page “above the fold” — in the space on the screen that you see before you have to scroll down. In recent years, there has been a lot of pushback against this idea, saying that it is dated.
And while we certainly agree that it’s unnecessary to keep all of your content above the fold, there is still overwhelming evidence that you had better put your best stuff up there if you want people to keep scrolling. According to an eye-tracking study reported by Jakob Nielson, visitors spend 80.3% of their time on what they can see without scrolling.
So how can you pack enough information in above the fold to make sure your visitors stick with you further down the page? Take some pointers from today’s Example Site, Little Ones Portraits. They are employing 4 different strategies for doing just that:
1. Minimize the amount of blank space before your website begins. With the rising popularity of the design trend that features a background color or image with the main website floating in a box, some websites are wasting a lot of space on padding around the top. One or two spaces (returns) up there will get that visual across without sacrificing too much real estate.
2. Make your header image or logo space as short as possible. Don’t crowd your branding, but don’t let this area get out of hand. If you have a landscape (horizontal) version of your logo, make sure to use that here to save space.
3. Use a horizontal navigation bar instead of a vertical list. As computer screens have gotten wider, so have websites. And along with that, this type of navigation has gained popularity. The traditional menu that floats along the left hand side of your content may save a little vertical space if you do it just right, but you also run the risk of users with low resolutions screens not seeing the last few navigation options you offer.
4. Choose an image carousel instead of a gallery of thumbnails. This tool will display dozens of images in an infinite loop, which allows you to show off all you have to offer without depending on the visitor to scroll. Images are the most compelling type of content you can include on your page, so this approach is very smart for anyone with a product that can be represented visually.
What are some other smart ways you’ve found to keep your best content up where visitors will see it?