Information Foraging and The Fold

Even though users are now accustomed to scrolling down web pages, we know that the fold still exists and is important–and how we can design to take advantage of it.

In light of this, Jakob Nielsen has conducted research to see what prompts users use to decide whether to scroll or not (the answer: the information scent).

The implications are clear: the material that’s the most important for the users’ goals or your business goals should be above the fold. Users do look below the fold, but not nearly as much as they look above the fold.

People will look very far down a page if (a) the layout encourages scanning, and (b) the initially viewable information makes them believe that it will be worth their time to scroll.

Finally, while placing the most important stuff on top, don’t forget to put a nice morsel at the very bottom.

via @zambonini