The myth of the page fold

One of the interesting debates in web design is how people find the information they’re looking for on a page or within a site. There’s a school of thought that says people don’t like to scroll vertically down a page – the problem is this limits the amount of content you can fit on each page and is likely to result in a very deep site structure, with pages buried behind too many clicks.

Personally I’ve never feared long pages that require some scrolling. Whether it’s scroll wheels on mouses (mice?) or finger wipes on iPhones, I think we’re quite comfortable exploring “below the fold”, the fold being the lower limit of what’s visible when you load the page.

I was happy to come upon this research from a UK design consultancy that offers evidence backing this up. To quote:

“People tell us that they don’t mind scrolling and the behaviour we see in user testing backs that up. We see that people are more than comfortable scrolling long, long pages to find what they are looking for. A quick snoop around the web will show you successful brands that are not worrying about the fold either:

BBC, Play, Amazon.co.uk and the New York Times websites showing the position of the page fold

via The myth of the page fold: evidence from user testing | cxpartners.