When we’re designing a digital look and feel for clients, we sometimes hear concerns that readers must see vital copy points “above the fold” or all will be lost. Prospects will flee before we tell them the nine things we want them to know. Civilization will crumble.
(The fact that we all still use a newspaper metaphor should tell us something about the fear. Remember AFCD placement?)
There is, of course, a grain of truth there. A web visitor, particularly a searcher, is willing to give you just 4.5 seconds to discover they came to the right place. So, one point for relevant copy high up.
On the other glove, clean design with appropriate white space is a powerful signal of confidence and authenticity. One amazing picture is worth a bit more than 982 words. Score one for the minimalists. The other extreme, a “NASCAR layout” with eleventy-five stickers competing for attention, is often a turnoff.
Is there a cookie-cutter rule to how much can safely be pushed down the page for the sake of clean design? Of course not. These decisions depend on the brand narrative, the audience, the subject matter, the alignment of the stars and/or the temperature of El Niño.
Relax. Scroll-phobia is almost always overblown, a fearful concern raised by, um, let’s say clients stuck in 2005. People immersed in a 3-screen world don’t hesitate for a moment to scroll on any device. Research backs this up.
Hey. What does your brand stand for? What single differentiator will evoke emotional resonance from your best prospects? Lead with that above the fold, and they’ll scroll with you. (If you aren’t certain, we can help. It’s what we do.)