“Above the fold” is a concept that dates back to the early days of publishing. Specifically, the era when newspapers were the main source of daily news for most people.
When newspapers were displayed on street stands they were always stacked and folded in half so passersby were only able to see the top half of the front page.
Publishers quickly realized that if they wanted to sell papers, they would need to put all of their most important headlines and vivid imagery in this area above the fold to attract customers.
The idea of “above the fold” has since carried into the digital world where the fold refers to the content that displays on the top of a page without requiring the visitor to scroll.
So, Is “Above the Fold” Still Relevant?
The simple answer is yes, but not for the same reasons it once was.
When it comes to the design of your website, you do need to place extra attention above the fold, but only in the sense that the top of your page should clearly explain your value proposition and also entice users to continue scrolling.
The fold does set the stage for the rest of the page’s content and sets the expectations of what users can expect to find on the rest of the page, but the idea that we need to fit as much content as possible in this area because it’s the only content that people read is an outdated design practice.