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'Above the Fold' - history of a design term

If you've done anything with web design, if you have a website, or especially if you use Entrecard, you've probably hear the term 'above the fold'. What exactly does it mean, and where does it come from? This internet website design term actually has much older, and quite interesting, origins.

In a web design context, your above the fold content is what your reader sees without having to scroll down. How much is above the fold depends on the reader - people have different sized screens and different resolutions. I see a lot less on my little EeePC screen than a gamer with a high definition 1920x1080 monitor. But in general, a header and some blog content are going to be 'above the fold'.

Image: WWII peace in Japan newspaper publishing example of above the fold

The term 'above the fold' actually has its origins in newspaper publishing - important stories and photos were placed above the fold - on the top half of the folded newspaper page. When you're first handed a newspaper, you look at the top half first. It was an easy transition from newspapers to websites, since the top area of a webpage is the first thing the reader sees.


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Warren Contreras said...

Even further is the upper left corner is the most popular starting point.

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