Moving Beyond the Fold

Published: January 16th, 2013 by Ryan M.



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Clients often tell me that they think their sites scroll too much. “People are too lazy to scroll,” they say. “We want all of our most important content visible at once.”

I hear what they’re saying. Designing “above the fold” used to be huge in web layouts. But unless you’re still living in the early 2000s, this way of thinking just isn’t relevant anymore.

Designing above the fold means content has to fit in a space the size of your computer screen. That seriously limits design options—and can make your site look crowded as everything gets tinier and tinier to fit. Exactly how much space do you have to work with? That’s hard to judge, too, considering the countless screen sizes, resolution levels, and devices someone might want to view your site on.

I’m not saying you should load down your sites with never-ending blocks of text. The new generation of scrolling sites uses movement to tell a story. They’re perfect for introducing a new company or product: you can walk users through what your product does and how it works, then lead them right where they need to go to learn more—or better yet, buy. These sites are animated—but they require viewer interaction in order to come to life. Check out these examples to see what I mean:

http://www.zensorium.com/tinke/

http://www.milwaukeepolicenews.com/

http://a-class.mercedes-benz.com/com/en/index.html

Sites like these seem like they’d be complicated to build, but they’re really not: most of the effects you see can be created using just jQuery and CSS (get started with a framework like Blueprint or Foundation). Like any new trend, scrolling sites have their kinks: some techniques are only supported in current modern browsers, and adjustments have to be made for mobile displays.

But personally, I’m excited about what scrolling sites have to offer. I could click around sites like these all day and never get bored—they’ve got the power to hook even the laziest of web surfers. And I keep going back to show other people how awesome they are. As a developer myself, I know that’s music to a site creator’s (and client’s) ears.

Is your site trapped in a scroll-less rut? Contact Atomic, and we’ll help you set your site free.

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