This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best possible experience. See our Cookies Policy.

PMG Digital Made for Humans

On the Eighth Day, the Fold

4 MINUTE READ | June 30, 2015

On the Eighth Day, the Fold

One upon a time, there was a group of monks translating the Bible. When they came to Psalms, they wanted to make sure people read their favorites, so they put them at the top of each page.  Then, one monk folded the page in half to carry and show the local bishop. He explained to the bishop that they wanted to put the best Psalms above the fold.  And “the fold” was born.

Hey, it COULD have happened that way.

Here’s an even more amazing story: we’re still talking about the fold today, and the Web can’t even be folded! We say that everything has to be on that first screen. It does, doesn’t it?

Wrong. I’m here to announce that the fold is officially dead.

THE FOLD IS NOT AS IT ONCE WASI have two reasons to believe this.

First, the Web has evolved. And people have evolved with it. Originally, the Internet was designed for geeks like you and me. Today, everyone’s grandmas are online, and guess what? They get it.

Almost no one thinks a Web page ends when he’s hit the bottom of the screen. Every computer and mobile user knows how to scroll down with a mouse or his or her finger.  That annoying moniker, “Web 2.0,” is actually a good sign. It subtly shows us that the Web has matured.

Speaking of maturity, the second reason the fold is dead is that Web design and layout have matured.  With maturity comes complexity and that means the old standards have gone out the window. There’s no standard screen size. It used to be 800×600. Now most people use 1366×768, or larger on their computers and mobile users are all about scrolling and it keeps users engaged and free from unnecessary clicks.

There’s also no default browser. First, it was Netscape, then MSIE, and now Chrome is coming on strong.  They all read Web pages a little differently.  Heck, even the same browser on a MAC and PC looks different.

You get the picture. Even if you still choose to believe in the absolute power of the fold, it will never be where you want it to be on every single screen, no matter how crazy mad your Web skillz are.

EMBRACE THE FOLDNow that we’re in agreement and I’ve convinced you to cross over to the dark side, let’s go deeper into the abyss.

I encourage you to design PAST the fold. It is an opportunity, where appropriate, to think about a mobile first design perspective, rather than treating mobile as an afterthought. That doesn’t mean you have to make up a bunch of lousy content so your page will be longer. It does mean that, if you know you’re likely to go longer than an average screen, provide some continuity. Make the user want to scroll down to see what’s next.  Whether it’s design, text or a navigation element, give the visitor a reason to look beyond the fold. It frees us up to be true digital storytellers, using space and design in ways that intrigue users.

Think of it as the “continued on pg2” you see at the bottom of a magazine article. Sure, you wish the page was longer, but don’t you always peek at that next page anyway?  While many designers will tell you to pretend your visitor is stupid, I’m going out on a limb and telling you to give them a little credit. The reality is that there’s more than one school of thought on the Web. Don’t get sucked in by any of them. Including mine.

Stay in touch

Bringing news to you

Subscribe to our newsletter

I say do as the monks did. Use the fold as a guide to put your Psalm 23s up high. Then put your lesser psalms below it.  No one’s going to stop reading halfway through a psalm.  Keeping the bishop and your favorite serfs happy is a good way to make sure you survive the Dark Ages.


Posted by PMG Advertising Agency

Related Content

Get Informed

The Most Memorable Ads of Super Bowl LV

4 MINUTES READ | February 8, 2021

Get Informed

Preparing for Streaming’s Growth & The Future of TV Buying

7 MINUTES READ | December 11, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

PMG Boosts Brand Creative and Expands Creative Studio

3 MINUTES READ | November 24, 2020

Get Informed

Athleta Honors Women Everywhere in New Post-Election Ad Campaign

2 MINUTES READ | November 10, 2020

Get Inspired

Why You Should Tap TikTok Influencers Now

4 MINUTES READ | July 29, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

Will UGC Be the Norm in a PostCOVID World?

6 MINUTES READ | June 26, 2020

Get Informed

Takeaways from the Virtual Snap Partner Summit 2020

4 MINUTES READ | June 20, 2020

Get Inspired

Staying True to Your Brand During a Crisis

7 MINUTES READ | June 16, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

COVID-19 Crisis: The World is Getting More Creative

7 MINUTES READ | April 10, 2020

Get Inspired

COVID-19 Crisis: A Pop Culture Break

3 MINUTES READ | March 31, 2020

Get Inspired

Navigating Ad Messaging During COVID-19

6 MINUTES READ | March 30, 2020

ALL POSTS